If you’re storing dangerous or hazardous goods, you must comply with COSHH (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health) regulations. This is to prevent or reduce exposure to potentially harmful substances.
One way to safely store dangerous materials is inside a converted unit. Modified shipping units are strong and durable which makes them ideal storage units for dangerous goods. The units are easily modified so can be specifically adapted for exact material storage requirements.
What Is Classed As a Dangerous Good?
A dangerous good is classed as any substance or material that poses a risk to people, property, or the environment, due to their chemical or physical properties. Common examples of dangerous goods include paints, acids, petrol, and pesticides.
Dangerous goods pose serious risks such as igniting, spills and environmental damage, and injury from chemical exposure. With this in mind, it’s important to ensure your unit is correctly modified to store the appropriate goods.
How Can Shipping Units Be Adapted To Store Dangerous Goods?
Adaptations to make containers safe for dangerous goods storage will depend on whatever is intended to be stored.
It goes without saying that chemicals are a part of modern life and we will encounter them in a range of businesses. It goes without saying that there are specific requirements for safe chemical stores, such as laboratories, agricultural businesses, and transport, to name a few examples.
In the UK it is a legal requirement to store dangerous or hazardous chemicals in a safe and secure place that meets COSHH regulations.
Standard units do not meet the requirements to store chemicals. To store hazardous chemicals, you will need a specially converted unit.
Installing a bunded floor – typically a large metal tray with a mesh grid – ensures chemical spillages are safely contained inside the storage unit. The bund catches and retains chemical leaks should any spillage occur. The capacity of the bund will vary depending on the goods stored inside.
Ventilation may also be required to prevent a build-up of chemical fumes inside the storage unit. If left to accumulate, chemical vapours can cause serious damage and, if flammable, can ignite. Similar to a bund, the type of ventilation required will vary depending on factors such as the product’s ability to produce gasses, the density of gas produced, and also the toxicity and or fire explosion class.
We get a number of enquiries about storing pesticides and storing goods without the risk of environmental pollution. For environmental spill, the bund only has to be 110% of the largest container stored if over 20 litres. On the other hand, the bund for fire and pesticides needs to be 110% of the total volume of product stored. It’s important to make sure the bunded floor meets the adequate regulations for the goods you are storing.
It’s also important to consider the security of the chemical store, and make sure it is securely locked when not in use to prevent break-ins or external tampering. Generally, the construction of a container makes it a robust solution for a secure space. To improve security, the doors can be fitted with secure locking systems to stop unauthorised entry.
Fire Resistant Units
Hazardous goods that are flammable should be stored in a specially adapted unit. There is additional risk if the unit has electrical points.
Galvanised steel units are fireproof, however dangerous goods stored inside the unit still pose a fire risk. If a large volume of flammable substance mixes with air, it can ignite and cause an explosion. Following the ATEX directives and correctly storing flammable materials reduces potential damage. This can be achieved with a purpose-built unit.
An example of an additional modification that will provide explosion protection is to install frangible panels in the unit roof. A frangible panel is designed to break loose which directs overpressure harmlessly upwards and therefore limits effects from an explosion inside the structure. The team at S Jones Containers have years of experience designing and fabricating units with explosion protection, so if you’re unsure on how best to create one then don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.
No matter what dangerous goods you are storing, you also need to consider emergency exits and safe means of escape in case of emergency or if a fire breaks out.
Adding emergency lighting or fire alarm systems is an easy way to ensure there are safety measures in place. Fire alarm systems are always important in rooms that contain electrical, electronic, or internal combustion equipment that can give off a lot of heat. Should a fire break out or the unit fills with smoke, emergency lighting can show a direct route to exit for anyone inside the unit.
Dangerous Goods Storage Containers From S Jones
S Jones Containers can provide purpose-built units for safely storing dangerous materials. There are a few options for chemical storage boxes from us. One option is our 10ft converted chemical store for immediate delivery. The unit has a 450 Litre capacity bunded floor, aluminium louvered vents and ceiling suspended steel shelving.
This is our most cost-effective bund solution, however this bund is at floor level and can be stepped on. If you need to ensure that a person cannot step on the bund and potential step in any spilled product, we can supply COSHH units with structural grid floors that sit above the bund and overcome this problem.
We can also supply secure, COSHH-compliant flat-pack chemical storage units. Flatpack units are especially good for creating storage in places that are difficult to access as the flat pack is easier to deliver. Not only are our flat-pack chemical storage units COSHH-compliant, but they are also fire resistant, well ventilated, and leak-proof.
Every dangerous good or hazardous material will have its own special considerations to think about when storing, so you may not be able to use a standard stock container conversion for your storage. If you’re looking for a bespoke storage unit for specific hazardous materials, get in touch with our experienced conversions team who would be happy to discuss your specific requirements.