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|MSHA's Occupational Illness and Injury Prevention Program
"Storage of Chemicals"
Improper storage of chemicals can lead to tragic consequences. Storing incompatible chemicals together is akin to a bomb with a burning fuse. Never store acids and bases in the same cabinet, as these chemicals can react violently and can cause fires, explosions, or release toxic gases. While fires and explosions are visible, toxic gases may not be detectable by smell, sight, or taste.
Not only do incompatible chemicals react with each other; the chemical can react with the material on which the container of the chemical is stored. Acid can eat through a thin metal shelf and cause the acid bottles to fall to the floor. The glass bottle containing the acid would shatter splashing acid around the room. The acid would splash any miner in the area.
Store chemicals in sturdy cabinets. The cabinets should have doors and be designed and labeled for chemical storage.
Always store chemical in labeled containers - preferably the original container. The label must identify the chemical in the container and be readable. Never store a hazardous chemical in a container that contained food or beverage. Someone may mistake the hazardous chemical for food or a drink. This could cause death or serious injury to the person who ingests the chemical.
Never store food or beverages in the same location as chemicals. Spilled chemicals can contaminate the food and /or beverage. Also, never eat in the same room in which chemicals are being used or stored.
Never use a container that originally contained a hazardous chemical to store food or a beverage. Residue from the previous material may remain in the container, contaminating food or beverage, leading to a potential poisoning.
Finally, remember to store food or beverages in containers for food and beverages and store hazardous chemicals in non-food containers.
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