Selecting Hazardous Flammable Storage CabinetsNathan Cartwright
Incorrect storage of flammable liquids can lead to significant injury to people and damage to property and the environment.
Flammable liquids storage cabinets are an important piece of equipment to ensure your workplace operates in a safe and lawful manner. In this article we will explore the information you need when choosing the right cabinet.
1. Understand what you are storing
Flammable liquids are designated as a Class 3 Substance and are identified with a red diamond label.
AS1940-2017 is the Australian Standard for the storage and handling of flammable and combustible liquids. This standard separates flammable liquids in three distinct packing groups (PG). These packing groups are defined in the “Australian Code for the Transport of Dangerous Goods by Road & Rail”.
|Table 188.8.131.52: Hazard grouping based on flammability|
|Packing Group||Flash Point||Initial Boiling Point|
To identify the Class and PG of the substance you have on site, check Section 14 of your Safety Data Sheet (SDS).
2. Quantify the amount of each PG you have onsite
By understanding the amount of each PG you have, you can determine you best method of storage. Also note the size of each container as it will indicate the configuration of the cabinet required.
Table 2.1 in AS1940-2017 sets out the maximum quantities of the different PG’s you can store in a compliant cabinet for each 500m² of workshop or factory floor space.
- PG I and PG II maximum minor indoor storage: 250 Litres
- PG III maximum minor indoor storage: 500 Litres
Quantities exceeding these amounts are no longer considered minor storage and other storage methods need to be investigated.
3. Find a reputable provider of compliant flammable liquid storage cabinets
The compliance requirements for a flammable liquid storage cabinet are set out in Section 4.9.2 of AS1940-2017.
The best way to ensure that your cabinet meets the construction requirements set out in the Australian Standard is to insist your supplier provides you with a Certificate of Conformity. This document will provide peace of mind for you and make your supplier accountable for the claims they make.
Ask for independent third party certification like the internationally recognised Factory Mutual Global (FM) will ensure that you cabinet has passed rigorous testing and bears the FM APPROVED mark.
4. Make sure your supplier offers warranties and after sales service
As with any product, there are differences in quality. Just because it is compliant when you buy it, it does not mean the cabinet with be operating in a compliant manner 6 months later.
Reputable suppliers will back their product. Look for a minimum of 10 year warranty on the doors, shelves and body and not less than 2 years on the closing and latching mechanism.
Scheduled inspection and servicing can significantly increase the life of this mandatory pieces of safety equipment. If a fire incident does occur, you can provide your insurance company with an independent third party report generated during your scheduled inspection stating that your flammable liquid storage cabinet was fully compliant with AS1940-2017.