For many businesses, daily activities necessitate the use of hazardous substances. To use and store them safely, it is critical to recognize the risks they pose and to meet the highest levels of workplace safety. Occupational safety protocols must therefore account for all hazardous substance handling, storage and comprehensive risk management.
In the UK, such occupational safety precautions are governed by the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Act. Following an annual review of workplace safety, COSHH emphasizes the need of meeting and routinely refreshing safety procedures in all businesses.
In addition to meeting regulatory safety standards, we will explain below how to correctly store and label hazardous substances in the workplace, as well as outline the safety procedures and regulations you should implement to keep all those on site safe.
The Types of Hazardous Substances
COSHH defines hazardous substances as "chemicals, products, fumes, dusts, mists and vapors, and pathogens" that can pose a danger to one's health. Each hazardous substance category provides unique dangers, so it is vital that businesses recognize that hazards vary and that safety measures for one hazardous material may not be adequate for another.
Before storing hazardous substances on site, a business must prepare for the risks associated. The persons responsible for health and safety at the business must undertake comprehensive risk assessments for all aspects of the hazardous substance's usage, including storage and handling.
Carrying out due diligence of a substance’s risk before it arrives at the workplace, and ensuring this knowledge is shared amongst all on the premises, will significantly improve on-site safety and reduce the risk of injury. Doing so early will provide the business with more time to examine all hazards and communicate this information with individuals on site.
Best Practices for Storing Hazardous Substances