Businesses throughout the UK either store, use or manufacture goods with the addition of chemicals in some form or other, these chemicals can range from non hazardous, dangerous goods and those that fall under the COSHH regulations. Sometime not a lot of thought goes into where a business would store their empty chemical containers, should this be the case then you need to carry out a risk assessment of your premises and from your findings ensure you introduce a location to store your used and empty chemical containers
Don't forget the data sheets
At this point you may well be thinking that these empty chemical containers can simply be disposed of like general business waste but this is incorrect, under normal practices the supplier of your chemicals will issue you with product data sheets regarding the chemicals you are using, these data sheets hold vital information about your chemicals, their contents, the hazards involved with them such as if they are toxic or not and also provide the correct disposal details for you. In addition it is also possible for you to arrange with your chemical supplier to remove your used chemical containers once a significant amount has been stored and is ready for collection.
Risk assessment needed
Deciding where to store your empty chemical containers is quite easy, there are a range of empty chemical storage containers within the market place. With these storage boxes you have the option of either storing them outside your premises perhaps in a site compound or alternatively within your premises in a safe location as a result of your risk assessment. These empty chemical storage containers or bins if you prefer are steel in construction with a hasp fitted allowing you to fit a padlock for added security, the also contain a sump within the container just in case there are any drips or spillages from the chemical containers and of course the containers are also fitted with a hazardous warning sign stating 'Caution Hazardous Chemicals' to the front of the container.
Where to store them
Following the purchase of your chemical safe storage container you must be mindful of the empty chemicals containers you are going to store in them. It would be wiser to store the empty chemical containers with each other in hazardous categories keeping cross contamination and vapour levels to a minimum so as not to affect the person storing them away in addition to this risk when some harmful chemicals are mixed together a reaction may occur which presents a greater risk than what we a trying to achieve, your chemicals supplier will be the best people to seek advice from regarding this, it may require you to have 2 or 3 empty chemical storage containers if you are using significant quantities of various chemicals.
To summarise, if your are a business, large or small and use chemicals in one form or another then the most important task to carry out first will be a risk assessment. The findings of the risk assessment will provide you with plenty of information of where you can store your empty chemical safe storage containers, if you are still undecided following your assessment then i strongly recommend you consult your chemical suppliers as they are specialists in this field. One final note to add, wherever you do decide to store the containers it will be wise to have a folder of chemical data sheets within the vicinity of the container(s), this will assist the fire brigade in deciding the level of severity in the event of a fire, although your container stores empty chemical containers you will obviously be using full containers on a day to day practice, read more here and here.