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Hazardous Chemical Reactivity & Storage

Prevent hazardous uncontrolled chemical reactions with awareness of the reactive chemical hazards at your facility. The following principles are key for safe chemical storage: segregation, protection from physical damage, hazard identification, and fire control. The chart below is a quick reference for determining incompatibility.  

Source: QBE Loss Control ServicesRecommended course of action:

Step 1: Determine if there are undesirable consequences
• Toxic gas generation
• Corrosive gas or liquid generation
• Flammable gas generation
• Formation of shock-sensitive or explosive materials
• Explosion
• Fire
• Off-gas generation that can rupture containers
• Sufficient heating to cause runaway reaction

Step 2: Identify mixing scenarios
• Leaking containers
• Pumping into wrong storage tank, vessel
• Cross connected line left open
• Material mislabeled or unlabeled
• Wrong material selected by operator
• Waste materials combined in tank or container
• Waste material combined in sewer
• Contaminated raw material
• Residue from previous batch in equipment
• Cleaning materials left in process equipment
• Fire or explosion

Step 3: Provide controls to prevent mixing
• Training
• Segregation
• Engineering Controls

Storage Guidelines
• Ensure containers are labeled
• Segregate incompatibles by hazard class
• Do not store alphabetically
• Store flammables according to GC property guidelines
• Do not store chemicals above eye level
• Do not overcrowd shelves
• Avoid storing chemicals on floor
• Liquids should be stored in unbreakable packaging


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