Posted by: David Cant | December 1, 2009

Hazardous Substances in the Warehouse

Hazardous Materials

Chemicals are very common in a warehouse. If not handled or stored safely, some chemicals can cause serious injuries. Chemicals may arrive at a dock in containers or on a pallet. Other chemicals may be a part of the standard work environment in the building and/or caused by carbon monoxide that is produced from internal combustion engines on powered equipment or trailer trucks.

You should consistently practice the following the safety guidelines for hazardous materials:

  • Follow the instructions on the label and in the corresponding (MSDS) for only those chemical products you will be using in your workplace.
  • Use personal protective clothing or equipment, such as neoprene gloves, rubber boots, shoe covers, rubber aprons, and protective eyewear, when using chemicals labelled Flammable, Corrosive, Caustic or Poisonous.
  • Always use your chemical goggles and the face shield when handling chemicals labelled Corrosive or Caustic.
  • Do not use protective clothing or equipment that has split seams, pin holes, cuts, tears, or other visible signs of damage.
  • Before removing your rubber/neoprene gloves, wash them with cold tap water in a normal hand-washing motion.

Always wash your hands after removing your gloves.

  • Do not use chemicals from unlabeled containers or unmarked cylinders
  • Do not perform “hot work”, such as welding, metal grinding or other spark producing operations, within 50 feet of containers labelled Flammable or Combustible.
  • Never drag a container labeled Flammable.
  • Do not store chemical containers labeled Oxidizer with containers labeled Corrosive or Caustic.
  • Never store flammable or combustible liquids within 50 feet of a heater, water heater, or any ignition sources

Dispensing Flammables
Before pouring, dispensing or transferring any liquid from a bulk container labeled Flammable, observe the following safety procedure:

1) Only use the red color-coded metal safety containers for transferring the liquid.

2) Electrically ground and bond the containers by:

Attaching the clip at one end of the grounding wire to the rim of the dispensing container and then attach the clip at the other end of the grounding wire to a ground source, such as a ground driven steel stake.

Attach the clip at one end of the bonding wire to the rim of the dispensing container and then attach the clip at the other end of the bonding wire to the rim of the receiving container.

You are now ready to dispense the liquid from the bulk container into the opened receiving container. Upon completion, replace the lid on the receiving container and remove the bonding wire.


  1. I’d like to add on her for everyone to make sure they set up a regulator gas monitor calibration schedule! Far too many storage warehouses have monitors out of calibration or which have been calibrated using expired gas. Almost all of the new business we get in has to do with an overhaul after OSHA came in and fried someone.

  2. I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I am definitely enjoying every little bit of it I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff about safety signs you post. .

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