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Sudoku – safety cupboards – answers

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Hopefully you will have solved last weeks teaser sudoku on safety cupboards – if not here are the answers!  A new teaser to follow!

Sudoku – safety cupboards

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Here is a special version of the popular Sudoku brainteaser that uses letters instead of numbers. The rules are the same, each row, column and 3×3 square box must contain each of the letters in the keyword exactly once.

We have filled in some of the grid to give you a start.

As you might expect from the safety storage specialists your keyword is “CUPBOARDS“.

Come back next week for the solution and a new puzzle!

Hazardous Substance Storage

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The storage of chemical substances – those that are potentially hazardous – is vitally important; however, whilst a flammable cabinet will provide a significant amount of protection against the effects of these dangerous substances, it is important to remember that some chemicals will need to be stored away separately.

For example, oxidising acids should never be stored with flammable solvents. Storing two incompatible substances in the same cabinet can result in disaster – causing the two to mix to form heat, harmful vapours, as well as explosions between the most volatile of chemicals.

When these chemicals are stored away it is also important to ensure that the container lids and caps are tightly secured – in order to prevent the substances from leaking out into the cabinet. Many will assume that because a storage cabinet is fireproof, it will also work as a corrosive cabinet – this, however, is simply not the case. Separate cabinets will have different attributes and it is therefore important to have the correct cabinet to contain the chemicals you intend to store in it.

See our Advice Pages for more help on the Chemical Compatibility.

Keeping your Gun Safe

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Not just an ordinary object, a gun in any hand is a deadly weapon; making its safe storage of paramount importance.

A gun cabinet will provide the right amount of protection needed to prevent a gun from falling in unauthorised hands.

A simple search on the Internet will display many tragic instances in which children have Gun Safesgained access to an incorrectly stored gun, and subsequently shot either themselves or someone else.

These accidents can easily be prevented with a secure gun cabinet.

There are a number of different variations of gun cabinet currently available on the market; each will provide a significant amount of security for the weapon.

Metal gun cabinets, however, are amongst the most popular as they provide a thick shell to protect a gun from being damaged or stolen; some will also feature a combination lock – providing an even greater level of protection.

Specialist Storage Solutions for Highly Hazardous Substances

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Having explained the basic difference between COSHH and DSEAR compliant hazardous storage cabinets I now return to the issue of more specialist applications where additional precautions are required.
Highly Flammable Liquids (HFL’s) present by far the greatest fire risk in the work environment as they have the potential to self ignite when exposed to low ambient temperatures defined as 32 degrees centigrade or less – air temperatures exceeded in the mini heat wave only a couple of weeks ago.  If your organisation regularly uses HFL’s such as Acetone or Toluene it is not always a sufficient safeguard to store these substances in a standard DSEAR rated hazardous storage cabinet.

From a fire hazard standpoint It is recommended that the maximum quantity that may be stored in standard cabinets and bins is no more than 50 litres for HFL’s with a flashpoint below the maximum ambient temperature of the workroom/working area; and no more than 250 litres for other flammable liquids with a higher flashpoint of up to 55°C (DSEAR ACoP L135, par.40).

You can overcome these restrictions by using specialist fire proof storage cabinets. Typically these are constructed with double skinned insulated walls and doors with fireproof door seals and have in built ventilation systems that exhaust to atmosphere or through air recirculation scrubbers. The Asecos range of fire proof storage cabinets incorporate leading edge design and technology to prevent the temperature within the cabinet from rising above ambient for up to 90 minutes giving ample time for a fire to be brought under control.

They are also used extensively for the storage of biological and environmentally hazardous substances particularly in clean rooms and research and development laboratories where the financial cost of material damage or loss due to fire may be considerable.

The storage of large quantities of toxic and corrosive substances also requires special attention. Under COSHH highly toxic substances such as pesticides and corrosives such as acids and strong alkalis such as caustics should be segregated. To facilitate this hazardous storage cabinets designed specifically for these substances are available. Pesticide/Toxic cabinets have all the attributes of COSHH cabinets with the addition of ventilation grills to prevent the build up of fumes. Acid/Alkali cabinets have an additional corrosion resistant finish. It should be noted that you should not store Acids and Alkalis in the same cabinet as in certain cases they can chemically interact causing an exothermic reaction that risks an explosion or fire. These cabinets are colour coded and carry the applicable hazard identification label.

You will find further information and guidance in our advice pages but if you are unsure or require a solution to your specific storage application please contact us here or call your local HSE office.

Choosing the right Hazardous Storage Cabinet

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Selecting the most suitable storage cabinet for hazardous substances can be confusing given the wealth of regulations that businesses are obliged to comply with.

To comply with the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health regulations referred to as COSHH, any substance that presents an environmental or health hazard if inhaled, ingested or through skin contact should be segregated from the active work area in a secure lockable cabinet that complies with the COSHH guidelines.

Generally this means a steel cabinet with spill trays for shelves and lockable doors.

The purpose of the COSHH cabinet is threefold

  1. To prevent accidental contact with the substances
  2. To contain leaking containers or spills from reaching the work area
  3. To prevent spills from causing any environmental damage.

The cabinet should be clearly marked with an HSE compliant Hazard Warning label.

Storing flammable substances is a different matter

Even though you could argue they are hazardous to health and the environment as defined by COSHH their storage is covered by more specific fire safety regulations, primarily DSEAR the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations. There are other legal instruments and requirements for specific activities such as fuel depots.

Flammable substances should be stored separately in a purpose made fire resistant cabinet. Typically paints, solvents and fuels. As with COSHH the cabinet should be equipped with spill trays with a liquid retaining volume of at least twice the volume of the largest storage container in the cabinet.

Flammable storage cabinets are designed with double rebated flush doors and fully welded seams to prevent flames entering the cabinet. The purpose of Flammable Storage Cabinets is to segregate the contents from accidental contact with heat or flame, to provide secure storage, to contain environmentally damaging spills and leaks and to clearly identify their location in a fire emergency.

In the event of a fire the fire resistance of the cabinet is intended to prevent the flammable contents from adding to the fire although the resistance time is no more than 30 minutes depending on the fire intensity and proximity. The cabinets are not insulated and in a fire event with not prevent the internal temperature from rising for more than a few minutes. It is therefore important to use original containers and ensure caps are securely in place.

You should also be aware that there is a distinction between Flammable Liquids and Highly Flammable Liquids or HFL’s. HFL’s have a flash point, at which the liquid or its vapours can auto-ignite, at or below  ambient or room temperature of 32 degrees centigrade. Common laboratory HFL’s are acetone, ethanol and toluene.

More on the safe storage of HFL’s and the storage of chemicals and toxics in my next blog.

Storage Solutions for Paint

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When it comes to the safe storage of industrial materials, paints can often be overlooked; many will forget – or even chose to ignore – that paints are actually extremely flammable and highly combustible.

paint storage solutionsSimilar in appearance to cabinets used to store other flammable liquids, paint cabinets are available in a variety of sizes – without compromising on the level of protection provided.

Usually constructed from steel with a powder coated finish, adjustable spill type shelves and incorporating a lift out liquid tight sump to assist with any unwanted spills.

Whilst it might be a cheaper option to simply store paints away in a standard cabinet, it certainly isn’t safe.

It’s because of this type of irresponsible practice that industrial fires are caused; while in the short-term money might be saved, the potential damage caused to your facility as a result of an industrial blaze will ultimately usurp the initial cost of a paint cabinet.

Using flammable liquids? Your storage cabinet is key.

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When working with flammable liquids – regardless of the facility – it is vitally important to have safety as your paramount concern. Although this may seem logical in principal, it isn’t something that is always adhered to – a good majority of fires in industrial environments are caused because the appropriate steps haven’t been taken to store flammable liquids safely.

Many may avoid the special flammable cabinets – designed to house the liquids in a safe manner – purely because of their cost.

Even though there is a cost involved, it is important not to try and cut corners with a cheaper version; this kind of behaviour is not recommended when it comes down to safety measures.

Flammable cabinets protect liquids in two crucial ways, the first ensures that any leakages are prevented from spreading outside the cabinet, and the second prevents the liquids from setting alight if a fire does happen to occur.

While in the short term, buying a flammable cabinet involves investment, in the long term it can be ensured that the hazardous risk is minimised significantly.

Gun Cabinets – How do you use yours?

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The shotgun is one the most popular guns of choice for recreational hunting activities such as Pheasant shoots. In Great Britain alone the British Association of Shooting & Conservation (BASC) have estimated that there are 1.4 million legally held Shotguns.

As a deadly weapon, it is vital that shotgun owners ensure that there weapon is secured when not in use. The legally appropriate manner of storage is in a gun cabinet.

When stored away, the BASC state that only the owner should have access to the cabinet’s keys. Shotgun owners require a special certificate, meaning that all responsibility for that weapon falls solely on them – so it is extremely important to ensure that the unauthorised don’t have any access.

Ammunition should be stored separately from the guns; whilst the law does not state that shotgun cartridges need to be stored away separately, it is good practice to ensure that they are.

Like the shotgun itself, the cartridges should be stored away in dry conditions, away from children.

Adhering to these rules will limit the potential risk of a fatal gun-related accident occurring.

Top Ten Tips for the safe storage of chemical in the home

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    1. Always read and follow the safe use, storage and disposal instructions on the product label.
    2. Store harmful household products and pesticides out of reach of children and pets. Store in a locked COSHH cabinet in a utility area or garden store with lots of ventilation.
    3. Store flammable products outside the living space in locked flammable cabinets and far away from places where they could catch fire. Keep flammable products away from portable heaters, electric heaters, central heating boilers and outdoor grills.
    4. Never store pesticides or other household products in cabinets where food is stored, or near food intended for people or animals. Never store pesticides where you keep medicines. Ideally pesticides should be stored in lockable pesticide cabinets.
    5. Always store chemical based products in their original containers so that you can read the label for directions on their use, storage and disposal.

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  1. Never transfer flammable liquids, pesticides or other household products to soft drink bottles, milk jugs or other food containers. Children, or even adults, may mistake them for something to eat or drink.
  2. Never mix different cleaning fluids or pesticides. Chemical reactions can occur creating dangerous gases and in some cases exothermic reactions with the potential to cause fires and explosions.
  3. Always dispose of unwanted chemicals particularly petroleum based products and pesticides responsibly to protect your environment. Do not tip down drains, into drainage dykes, rivers or onto the land.
  4. Look out for new products that are less hazardous and environmentally friendly such as Propylene Glycol antifreeze or use safer alternatives. A combination of vinegar and baking soda is good at clearing blocked waste pipes.
  5. Have emergency numbers for fire services, environmental office and your doctor in a convenient place in case of emergency. Seconds save lives.

 

 

 

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