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AS 3780-2008: the storage and handling of corrosive substances[edit]

This standard[1] refers to corrosives that belong to Class 8 dangerous goods as stipulated in UN Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods—Model Regulations. It was prepared by Joint Standards Australia/Standards New Zealand Committee CH-009, Safe Handling of Chemicals. Its purpose is to provide recommendations and requirements for the safety of environment, property and people.

Minor storage[edit]

When not being used, the package should be securely closed, and should not be stored in such a place where it is near any sort of incompatible substances or sources of heat. There should be spillage measures provided, with any spills or leaks immediately cleaned and surfaces where the package is stored should be resistant to damage. Packaging should be for that substance and is clearly marked with appropriate labelling.

Transit storage[edit]

The area used for transit storage must be free from all unnecessary objects. The flooring or base of the area must be able to contain any spillage. All containers must be labelled correctly, according to the Australian Dangerous Goods Code. Corrosive substances and substances that the ADG code prohibits from being stored together must be separated by a minimum according to the Australian standard. Excluding freight containers, stacks of containers must be accessible from all sides. Dangerous goods should never be transferred between containers except in emergencies. Facilities for cleaning up spills, leaks or potential leaks must be provided on the site for and personal protective equipment must be available for emergencies. All escape routes must be kept clear and be obviously marked.

Storage and handling of packages[edit]

Location, separation and segregation[edit]

Package stores include rooms within buildings, outdoor roofed structures, designated open-air areas and indoor storage cabinets. Package stores must be segregated from incompatible goods and any goods that may cause a dangerous reaction with corrosive substances.

General Requirements for Package Stores[edit]

All Stores need to be constructed from corrosive resistant materials and be located near water for hand washing. Apart from indoor storage cabinets, stores need to be located only on floors that have direct access to outside. Package stores must have sealed floors with drainage. If there are to be opened packages in the store it must be adequately ventilated.

The store must be able to contain a spill or diverting a spill to another compound within the premises. All packages must be arranged so that they cannot fall or spill. Any racks or shelves within the store must not allow pooling of liquids and be arranged to provide clear means of escape passage. Stacking of packages must be done to minimize risk of collapse of the stack and damage to lower packages. If there are packages being opened in the store there must be a safety shower and eyewash station.

Indoor storage cabinets must not store incompatible goods or goods that may react dangerously. They must have a self-closing, close-fitting outward opening door and shelves that allow free air movement. Cabinets must be marked with a Class 8 dangerous goods label.

Package filling operations[edit]

Containers that are being filled in retail outlets must be filled in areas with no public access. No packages are to be filled in stores where packages are opened. Filling areas must be properly ventilated and filling equipment must be cleaned. If filling from a bulk container, an emergency shut-off device must be implemented. Any transfer from packages to containers must be done away from stores.

Storage and handling in bulk[edit]

Bulk containers must not be completely or incompletely buried. Minimum distances between containers for storage and handling in bulk must be adhered to according to the standard. If a Corrosive substance has any subsidiary risks, the Class of those risks in the Australian Standards must be referenced and the largest separation distanced adhered to. If two substances react dangerously together they must not be stored in the same compound. Portable or fixed bulk containers that are resistant to the Corrosive substance may be used for the storage and handling of corrosives.

Portable bulk containers[edit]

Portable bulk containers can be either an Intermediate bulk container that complies with the Australian Dangerous Goods Code, an ISO container that complies with the IMDG code and has a current CSC/IMO or RID approval, or a demountable tank that complies with AS 2809.1 and AS 2809.4. Portable containers must be properly restrained when lifting, and comply with the ADG code and if relevant the IMDG code during filling and transport.

Fixed bulk containers[edit]

A fixed bulk container can be a tank, hopper or silo that is permanently situated filled and emptied on site and its design and construction must comply with the relevant standards. For steel tanks used at atmospheric pressure, the design and construction must comply with AS 1692, API standard 620, API Standard 650 or other relevant standards. Steel tanks used at above atmospheric pressure should adhere to AS 1210 or any relevant standard. Linings must be resistant to attack from the Corrosive substance and be homogeneous, non-porous and free from perforations. All tanks must indicate the level of corrosive substance contained within. All fixed tanks should have an overflow line which discharges at ground level in view of the person filling the tank. For tanks with external fire-rated coverings a secondary covering of concrete or material with similar fire-rating should be used. A weak seam should be located in the external covering so that in the event of a pressure build up in the space between the coverings, the internal containment holding the corrosive material shall not be compromised.

Draining[edit]

When draining compounds, substances that might react dangerously must not be directed into the same compound. Valves for drainage control must obviously distinguish between the open and closed positions, be insusceptible to corrosives and must be located outside the bund.

Foundations, supports and vents[edit]

The foundation of a bulk container and the attachment between the foundation and container must be able to support the container when full of water or corrosive substances, and able to withstand overturning forces, such as wind when the container is empty, and any distorting forces such as uplift that may occur during pressure variations. Supports used to hold up a bulk container must be designed using the various Australian Standards for each material, must be corrosion resistant and any welds, brackets or fittings must be attached so no water can penetrate and cause corrosion of the tank. Vents shall be fitted so as to prevent blockages of corrosive residues or substances and must be always be operational.

Transfer points[edit]

Transfer points, the point where the pipework from a bulk container terminates, must be suitable anchored and have a quick-action shut-off valve. The location of the transfer point should be such that any vehicle transferring or receiving product does not have to enter the container compound, is able to access and leave the transfer point without reversing and is not wholly or partially on a public road. A safety shower and eye-wash station must be nearby.

Ancillary equipment for tanks[edit]

Additional equipment for tanks can include pipes and flexible hoses, screw fittings, transfer systems, heating of tanks and electrical equipment. All equipment must be suitable for use with corrosive substances, pipes and flexible hoses must be colour coded according to AS 1345, protected from damage by traffic and flexible hoses should only be used at transfer points. Screw fittings should be avoided if possible. If there is a risk of dangerous reaction with heating equiptment, heating should be supplied to the external surface of the tank.

Filling containers[edit]

When filling bulk containers hand-held hoses must not be used, and the safe filling level must not be exceeded. Corrosive substances should never be placed in containers that are not in good condition or do not comply with any part of the standard. A minimum of one person trained in transfer procedures must be present during the whole transfer from the connection of the first hose to the disconnection of the last hose. The filling connection should be liquid tight. Transfer hoses must not run across any area accessed by vehicles unless precautions are taken to prevent vehicles running over or striking the hose or its connections. Hoses must be visually and hydrostatically tested in compliance with the ADG code and pass these inspections and tests. The filling area must be designed so all spillage will drain into the nominated tank or compound.

Operational and Personnel Safety[edit]

Control of entry[edit]

Any unauthorised personnel should be accompanied by a member of the company when required to enter restricted areas. If this is not possible, visitors should be given a list of any and all hazards present and any precautions to be taken. Entry and exit points into and from storage areas should be always kept clear, in case of emergencies. PPE, fire fighting equipment (eg. fire blankets, fire extinguishers etc.), clean up materials and where the manifest is kept should always be accessible.

Lighting and ventilation[edit]

Lighting inside rooms and corridors in the building should always be of a sufficient brightness so that all labels and markings are able to be read without difficulty. Adequate ventilation should be provided, with routine air monitoring conducted in order to determine any airborne contamination. If there is a high level of contamination, control measures should be taken in order to lower that level.

Checking of safety equipment[edit]

All safety equipment that is used in the storeroom should all be checked before the commencement of any work, and should be in serviceable condition. Material safety data sheets (MSDS) and first aid measures should always be on hand and kept in an universally known and accessible location.

Activities within stores[edit]

Any type of mixing, blending, package filling or storage of other goods should not be done inside the store without a risk assessment or risk management plan. PPE should be worn and care taken to avoid any contact of the substance with eyes, skin or inhalation. Any movement of packaged substances should be subject to handling risk controls, and should be protected from punctures or tears if packages are to be palletised.

Placarding of Stores[edit]

Areas where corrosives are kept should be properly placarded in line with regulations and should be maintained at all times, if the storage situation changes at any time, the placards associated with it should also be changed immediately. Where storage of corrosives is larger than minor storage, warning signs, emergency contact (names, titles, phone numbers), contact of the occupant and a layout showing protection facilities, drainage and emergency stop switches should be displayed. The locations of the emergency plan, manifest, clean up equipment and essential services should be available at at least two entrances. All lettering should be visible and legible, and should be in accordance with AS 1216 and AS1319.

Effluent control[edit]

Effluent lines should be monitored to ensure that regulatory requirements are being followed for discharge and neutralisation of harmful effluent.

Work permit[edit]

A work permit is needed, which should include the nature/extent, conditions to be observed, PPE used, period the permit is valid, regular checking for safety requirements/conditions, procedures/precautions for normal service and fire fighting equipment. Before work commences, equipment to be worked on should be depressurized and disconnected, sewers sealed off, and oxygen levels/hazardous vapours should be tested. When working in a confined space, AS/NZS 2865 applies. When complete, the work permit should be cancelled and premises checked to ensure all hazardous materials are removed.

Personnel training[edit]

Job knowledge[edit]

Anyone handling corrosives should be familiar with their MSDS and apply safety regulations and safe handling of these substances. Employees and contractors should be sufficiently trained in the nature of the work, properties and hazards of substances, where first aid is located, correct usage/maintenance of PPE and actions to be taken in emergencies. Simulations should be provided, with refresher training at regular intervals. Food and drink should not be kept or consumed in any areas where corrosives are kept. Any injuries should be attended immediately and employees should wash their hands before consuming any food or drink after handling corrosive substances.

Personal protective equipment[edit]

Protective clothing, eye protection, protective gloves, safety helmets, safety footwear, respirators and breathing apparatus should all comply with appropriate standards. They should be selected individually so that they are best suited for the type of corrosive substance that is being handled. Any type of PPE that was used in the handling of corrosive substances should be checked, maintained and cleaned with appropriate solutions after each use.

First aid[edit]

In a clean area, there should be a first aid station including first aid kits, instructions (i.e. MSDS) with a recommendation that one person is trained in first aid.

Additional requirements for the storage and handling of packages[edit]

Packaging should have sufficient strength and durability, with any components that may come into contact with the substance to be compatible with the substance and not be weakened. There should be clear labeling. Stock should be rotated to avoid old materials, any spills/leakages to be neutralised immediately. Until empty containers have been decontaminated, labels should be left on and not obscured.

Additional requirements for bulk storage[edit]

Safety devices should be inspected regularly to ensure that they are in a serviceable condition. This can be done by simulation of normal conditions, non destructive tests or visually. Passageways in air vents should be checked to make sure they are clear with the type/dates/results of the inspections to be recorded.

Emergency management[edit]

Emergency plan[edit]

A plan must be prepared for dealing with possible emergencies that could occur due to the corrosive substances and must be reviewed and updated on a regular basis. All personnel must be familiar with this emergency plan. The emergency plan should include contact details for emergency services, guide of actions to be taken in the emergency and by whom, the locations of MSDSs on the premises and training of personnel on the plan. A manifest of all personnel must also be kept.

Management of leaks and spills[edit]

Any spills or leaks must be cleaned up immediately. Clean-up equipment, neutralizing and decontaminating chemicals must be readily available in adequate quantities. Examples of these include Calcium hydroxide for acidic spills, Sodium bisulfate for alkaline spills and resealable waste-recovery containers. The emergency plan must be enacted for every leak and spill. Leaking packages must be placed in a safe environment in a position to minimize further leakage. The package should then be placed in a container. All spills must be absorbed and absorbents disposed properly.

Fire protection[edit]

Relating to protection of storage from fire and fighting fires that involve corrosive substances. Requirements from relevant regulatory authorities (including fire departments) take precedence over requirements in this section.

General considerations[edit]

There are specific hazards which corrosives present during a fire, such as fumes/smoke which may be toxic or flammable, debris and spills can be toxic, some corrosives react violently with water and other fire fighting substances (causing spreading) and runoff may be a hazard to people/the environment.

Fire Protection Measures[edit]

Location is an important consideration in the use and storage of dangerous goods. Requirements for fire protection should be obtained from relevant authorities (fire authority) and implemented with their assistance. All equipment and protection systems must comply with the relevant Australian Standards and/or other regulations. All equipment must always be accessible. Portable fire extinguishers must comply with Australian Standard 2444 or any other relevant standard and regulatory authority. The equipment and protection systems must be appropriate for the specific substances being used/stored. Action to be taken in the event of a fire is covered in the emergency plan.

Waste storage and disposal[edit]

Does not apply to surplus/redundant products or materials salvaged from spills or fires. In these situations consult the supplier and/or the local waste disposal authority.

Storage of waste[edit]

Anywhere that uses or interacts with corrosives must have waste storage facilities. These facilities must comply with the same standards for storage of corrosives.

Items for disposal[edit]

Corrosive items such as those that are of doubtful quality, have illegible labels, any contaminated substance (including fire affected), any collected leaks or spills, all residues, empty containers (excluding those that are going to be reused), chemical treatment products or washings used in cleaning containers, contaminated clothing and the compound or contents of the store sump (used in collection of runoff and spills).

Pre-disposal treatment of empty containers[edit]

Empty containers must be effectively cleaned so they are safe for disposal or reuse, except those that are going to be reused to contain the same chemical. Cleaning consists of washing out with water or chemical treatment. After cleaning the label must be obliterated or removed, if the container is going to be disposed of it must be punctured.

Methods of disposal[edit]

Consultation with the appropriate organization (local waste disposal authority, environment protection authority, health department) on appropriate method of disposal and how acceptable the proposed method is. Advice may also be sought from the company which supplies the product. Where possible the best method for disposal is a licensed trade waste disposal contractor. Unless approved equipment for burning is available, burning of substances is not an appropriate method for disposal. If no other method is available neutralization and then burial may be used (if approved).

References[edit]

  1. ^ Standards Australia AS 3780-2008 Storage and Handling of Corrosive Subtance (2008)