A Guide to Handling COSHH Goods
If you transport fuel-powered equipment, tools or machinery; or need to move gases or chemicals as part of your job; the risk from a road traffic accident is potentially much higher than for other road users. If the goods you are carrying are dangerous, there is a risk of spillage that could result in fire, explosion, chemical burn or environmental damage. If you are a welder or a mechanic you may carry acetylene, PG or other gases. If you are a landscaper or arboriculture consultant; grounds maintenance or gardener; you may carry fertilisers, petrol, pesticides and other chemicals that would be classified as dangerous goods. If you are a building contractor, you may carry fuel to power your hand held tools. All of these substances need careful storage in appropriate containers and extra care is needed when moving them between sites.
The Law Regarding Carriage of Dangerous Goods
There are regulations covering the carriage of dangerous goods. Their aim is to protect everyone directly involved and people who may become involved (i.e. members of the emergency services and the public). The Regulations are designed to minimise the risk of accidents and ensure that if there is an incident, it can be dealt with effectively. The Carriage of Dangerous Goods and Use of Transportable Pressure Equipment Regulations (CDG) and a European agreement (ADR) regulate the carriage of dangerous goods by road.
Acetylene, LPG and other flammable gases that are commonly carried by tradesmen such as welders and mechanics are subject to the following parts of the ADR regulations:
- Driver: Driver must complete special safety training and keep a training record.
- Vehicle: Vehicle must have at least one 2kg dry powder fire extinguisher, kept in good working order.
- Goods: The dangerous good must be properly stowed.
Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH) place duties on employers and workers to prevent or control exposure.
What You Can Do Regarding Hazardous Substances
Visit appropriate websites and familiarise yourself with your duties and responsibilities. Store your chemicals and other hazardous substances in accordance with COSHH guidelines.
- A limited quantity of flammable liquids in suitable closed vessels may be stored in suitable fire-resistant cabinets or bins. These should be designed to retain spills (capacity should be 110% of the volume of the largest container, or 25% of the overall capacity – whichever is greater).
- Cabinets or bins should be located in designated well-ventilated areas that are away from the immediate processing area where possible.
- Flammable liquids should be stored separately from other dangerous substances that may increase the risk of fire or compromise the integrity of the container or cabinet, such as oxidizers and corrosive materials.
- Store no more than 50 litres of highly flammable liquids and flammable liquids with a flashpoint below the maximum ambient temperature of the workroom/working area.
- Store no more than 250 litres of other flammable liquids with a higher flashpoint of up to 60°C.
What Are The Requirements For Fire-Resistant Cupboards And Bins?
These criteria are the minimum performance requirements for compliance with current legislation:
- The materials used to form the sides, top, bottom, door(s) and lid should be capable of providing the required fire resistance (i.e. 30 minutes’ integrity) and reaction to fire (i.e. minimal risk)
- The joints between the sides, top and bottom of cupboards and bins should be free from openings or gaps
- The lid/doors should be close-fitting against the frame of the bin/cupboard such that there is a nominal overlap between the frame and lid/doors in their closed position
- The supports and fastenings should be of a material with a melting point greater than 750°C
When storing hazardous goods you should:
- Restrict access to the chemical store
- Provide a well-lit, ventilated store with sufficient, organised space
- The store should have an impervious floor that is resistant to the chemicals used and is easy to clean
- Store incompatible materials safely. Define areas with clear signs
- Keep tanks and containers in defined bunded areas
- Label tote tanks, containers and lines clearly
- Provide bulk storage with dust filtration or air cleaning for displaced air
- Provide explosion relief where necessary
- Vent air displaced from bulk liquids to a safe place
- Segregate vehicle routes from walkways where possible
- Eliminate or control ignition sources
Equipment For Storage and Transportation of Hazardous Goods
Secure Tools Ltd provides a wide range of hazardous goods storage solutions from Armorgard, including:
- TransbankTM - The cost-effective secure container for storing hazardous fuels and chemicals. View various sizes
- TransbankchemTM - The safe vault for storage and transportation of smaller volumes of chemicals. View various sizes
- FlamstorcabinetTM - Secure storage cabinet that keeps your hazardous substances safe, organised and accessible. View various sizes
Are you familiar with the full range of Armorgard products? View here.
Who Are Secure Tools?
Secure Tools are one of the largest global suppliers of power tools, power tool accessories, hand tools and specialist tools including non-sparking tools, titanium tools and stainless-steel tools. www.secure-tools.co.uk
The information provided in this guide has been created by Armorgard.
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The storage and transportation of hazardous goods is subject to many regulations. We would recommend that you seek advice from the Health and Safety Inspectorate, your local fire officer, trading standards office, or other qualified body. Operators are fully responsible for carrying out their own risk assessment for the hazardous goods that they are storing. Secure Tools Ltd and Armorgard Ltd are not advisers on the storage of goods and can take no liability for any storage situation.