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How to Handle Hazardous Products in the Warehouse

How to Handle Hazardous Products in the Warehouse

The following written instructions must he readily available to all warehouse personnel: 

    • Instructions for the safe and correct operation of equipment and storage of materials.
    • Material Safety Data sheet for all stored and transported products
    • Hygiene and safely instructions and procedures
    • Emergency instructions and procedures 

Receipt, Despatch of Goods and Transport Procedures

  • On arrival, goods are identified by the bill of lading, the labelling, and the Material safety data sheets provided by the supplier. 
  • If the goals or packaging are not in a good condition, or- for any reason they seem to present a particular hazard appropriate action must be taken.  

Any vehicle must be checked before loading materials for shipment from the warehouse, as well as proper packaging and appropriate accompanying documentation, e.g. A Transport Emergency Card (TREM) that will identify in the relevant language or languages;

  • The shipping number including its address and contacts
  • The product being carried 
  • The basic hazard and the precautions to be taken
  • Actions to be taken in case of an accident or a spill.
  • A suitable fire extinguisher and protective and clean up equipment should be available on board for use by the driver.

Storage Plan

  • A clear space should be left between all outside walls and the nearest packs within block stacks, to allow access for the inspection, free movement of air and fire fighting. 
  • Products must be arranged so that fork lift trucks and other handling or emergency equipment is not obstructed. 
  • Stacking heights should not exceed three meters unless the use of racking prevents overloading the lower tiers and ensures stability. 
  • Where racking is not provided, materials should not be packed to a height which is likely to cause damage to the lower tiers. 
  • Packages capable of being stacked higher should be specially marked to indicate maximum permissible stacking height. 
  • Special attention should be paid to ‘this way up” signs on cartonned packs and, where these are not displayed, to ensure that packs are stored with the closure of the uppermost inner receptacle.
  • A plan should be drawn up showing the nature of hazard in each part of the warehouse;
    • Sub-section number for each separated area
    • Location and quantities of the stored materials or groups of materials with their hazard characteristics. 
    • Location of available emergency and fire-fighting equipment, access and escape routes. 

Product Separation and Segregation

  • The word separation denotes the positioning of different product groups in separate areas within a warehouse. 
  • The word “segregation’ denotes the physical separation of different product groups in separate warehouses or by a firewall within a single warehouse.
  • The primary objective of product separation and segregation is to minimize the risks of fire or cross contamination often presented by mixed storage arrangements of incompatible materials. 
  • Correct separation will also minimize the extent of hazardous zones and the re sent to bond or to install protected electrical equipment.
  • The basic rule is not to mix packages of different hazard classes as defined by the symbols of the United Nations Classification of Dangerous Goods. 
  • Outside storage should be considered for highly flammable liquids and gas cylinders. 
  • Materials that are liable to explode in a fire (e.g. gas cylinder or aerosols) should be kept separate from other inflammable materials. 
  • Hazardous, flammable or explosive materials need to be stored away from inhabited areas and surrounded by metal or masonry barriers. 
  • Keep hazardous goods away from other products, especially foodstuffs;
  • Be aware of the different hazard classes and which hazardous/dangerous goods that cannot be stored together;
  • All hazardous/dangerous goods must be appropriately marked with markings/stickers on the goods/packing; 
  • All staff must be informed about handling, preventive and mitigating actions, place accident cards on the stack and in the warehouse office;
  • Provide protective clothing such as goggles and gloves when necessary:
  • Proximity to hazardous substance manufacturers should be avoided.