The Basics of Hazchem Storage Compliance in Australia

If you’ve conducted a chemical risk assessment and realised you need Class 3 Flammable Liquid storage, then all that’s left is to understand the basics of flammable liquid cabinets and how they can help. 

The Cabinet & It’s Construction

Flammable liquid cabinets are designed to protect your workplace from hazardous liquids by storing them safely so that if there ever is a fire or incident at your workplace, it isn’t made worse by having these liquids on site. 

To choose the right cabinet for the job, it needs to be compliant, with Australian Standards. Here’s what a compliant cabinet includes: 

  •     Materials of vital components should not melt at temperatures under 850°C. This is valid for everything but seals or gaskets. 
  •     Cabinet doors should be self-closing and close-fitting and held shut automatically by catches at two or more points.
  •     Shelving should be perforated and safely carry the maximum load.
  •     Any leaks must be able to fall into the lower spill containment sump, which must be liquid-tight and at least 150mm deep. 
  •     The sump cannot be used as storage space.
  •     Any gaps around doors or between walls should be sealed to prevent the spread of flames or heat radiation.
  •     There must be double-walled sheet steel construction for the walls, floor, roof and door, with a space of at least 40 mm between the walls. 

Cabinet Signage

When it comes to storing flammable liquids all people on site must know that the cabinets are holding dangerous goods. This has to alert everyone from your staff to contractors to visitors to your business. To relay this information accurately signage should be used.  

Here’s some of the information that needs to be included: 

  •     The name and information of the manufacturer, and for imported cabinets, the Australian distributor. 
  •     The maximum storage capacity of the flammable cabinet. 
  •     A label denoting the Class 3 dangerous goods that are at least 250 mm in length. 
  •     A clear sign that says ‘NO SMOKING, NO IGNITION SOURCES WITHIN 3 m’ with lettering at least 50mm high.

Most compliant safety cabinets, such as those from Spill Station, come with the signage already attached, but you do have the responsibility of keeping the signage maintained.  

Location of The Cabinet

The place you position your flammable cabinets is vital when it comes to keeping your workplace safe. If you need multiple cabinets in one area, this process can be more complicated. But overall, here is what to keep in mind when positioning your cabinet.  

  •     The place you put your cabinet should not get in the way during an emergency. Keep the cabinet away from emergency exits, stairwells or hallways used for evacuations. 
  •     Make sure no ignition sources are within 3 metres of the cabinet. This includes cigarette butts, sparks, electrical sockets and the like. 
  •     The cabinets can’t be placed in buildings such as schools, hospitals, residential areas, commercial buildings or aged care centres.
  •     Cabinets shouldn’t be on a floor that doesn’t have direct access to the ground level or the street level. 
  •     Aggregate capacities of the flammable cabinets shouldn’t be more than 850L per 250 m squared on the ground floor or 250 L per 250 m squared on all other floors.

Beyond this, there are further rules, but these are the basics. If you’re in the market for a compliant flammable liquid cabinet, Spill Station is the best choice for you. Contact them now and get started on your safety journey today! 

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