Laboratory Safety Manual
Reviewed May 2012
Chapter 7: Administrative Concerns
Section 7.3 - Facility Design
H. Chemical Storage
The storage of chemicals within laboratories
and storage areas must incorporate a number of considerations, including the following:
- OSHA requirements (Federal and State)
- NFPA, State, and University Fire Code Requirements
- Facility layout and limitations
Chemical use patterns and locations (location and quantities in which
specific chemicals are used)
It is anticipated that laboratories may use relatively
large quantities (bulk drums) of certain solvents or acids (which are stored in storage
areas) with a majority of chemicals being stored and used in four liter or smaller
The principle concerns in achieving proper storage is to
maximize employee safety with regard to chemical compatibility, spill control,
fire/explosion control, to provide security and identification and to provide a "user
friendly" system with respect to point-of-use.
Certain storage guidelines apply to central
- Storage must be physically secure.
- Adequate containment for spills and accidental releases
must be provided.
- Flammable chemicals shall be stored in accordance with NFPA, OSHA, and University fire
codes. Metal drums used for storage and dispensing require grounding.
- NFPA labeling must appear on cabinet and room doors at approximately waist level or
lower to allow adequate visualization in dense smoke conditions.
Chemicals shall be stored in accordance with compatibility and hazard
classes. Generally, these chemicals will be segregated as flammables, acids, bases,
reactives, oxidizers, and toxins.
Storage rooms or cages must be equipped with spill
control/containment typically adequate for 10% of the storage capacity or the volume of
the largest container. Cabinets designed for flammable or corrosive chemical storage
provide a specific design capacity for containment.
Storage must conform to compatibility restrictions as
described in Appendix B. Typically, solvents, acids, bases, reactives, oxidizers, and
toxins will be stored separately. Separation basically refers to physical separation of
containers and isolation of potential spills and releases with the goal of preventing
chemical reactions. Ideally, separate cabinets or isolated areas within a central storage
area should be utilized for segregated storage of incompatibles.
Small quantities of chemicals can be held at individual
work stations if this quantity is to be promptly used in a test or set of tests and
does not compromise acceptable ambient organic vapor levels or procedures for spill
control and fire safety.
Chemicals should be stored as close as feasible to the
point of use in order to minimize transport distance. Chemical storage should
be limited to only those areas in which the particular chemical is used.
Storage locations must be identified on an emergency floor plan posted
in each work area and must be equipped with a spill
kit, eye wash, and telephone.
Administrative Concerns Safety Showers & Eyewash Fountains