Anyone whose job involves the use of hazardous or dangerous substances has an important responsibility to store and transport these materials safely and appropriately. National Work Safety Month is the perfect opportunity for businesses to take a look at their procedures to ensure that the dangerous and hazardous substances they rely on to carry out their duties are stored correctly. When it comes to dangerous goods storage Perth has a huge range of businesses who need to be up to speed on this crucial requirement, so it’s really important to make sure your organisation is part of the national drive to make Australia’s workplaces safe and healthy for everyone.

Want to share this image on your site? Just copy and paste the embed code below:

Why is Storage a Key Issue?

Most employees who deal with dangerous substances in their day-to-day working lives are trained to do so in a responsible way. However, if these materials are not stored safely when not in use they could potentially fall into the wrong hands and present the very real risk of illness, injury or even death. Not only that, badly-stored materials also pose a threat to the professionals who are qualified to handle them. Investing in high-quality dangerous goods storage and making sure it is installed and maintained by qualified technicians means employers can feel safe in the knowledge they have met their vital obligation to provide a robust storage solution that will safeguard not just their employees but anyone who visits their premises.

Yellow 250L Flammable Cabinet for storing Dangerous Goods

What are Hazardous and Dangerous Substances?

A dangerous substance is defined as a material that has the potential to harm people, other living organisms, property or the environment. There are nine classes of hazardous and dangerous materials in total; explosives, gases, flammable liquids, flammable solids, oxidising substances, toxic and infectious substances, radioactive material, corrosives and miscellaneous dangerous goods which don’t fit into the other eight categories. The useful infographic goes into further detail on exactly how these substances are categorised and the risks to health and safety they can pose if they are not handled correctly and stored in the appropriate way.

Is there a Difference Between Hazardous and Dangerous Substances?

This commonly asked question can be a bit of a grey area. However, a dangerous good is usually classified due to its potential to instantly inflict harm due to its physical or chemical effects, such as an explosion. A hazardous substance may not pose an immediate danger, but its properties mean it still has the potential to cause a threat to health or the environment, for example through pollution. Hazards are also classed as situations that have the potential to harm people such as working at height, operating heavy or noisy machinery, working with electricity and even bullying and violence in the workplace.

Worker wearing correct protective gear while working with dangerous substances in Perth

What is the Best Way to Avoid Damage or Injury When Storing Dangerous and Hazardous Substances?

The best way to safeguard you, your colleagues and the public is to make sure that every part of the safety storage checklist is followed:

  • Before you begin any task, conduct a thorough risk assessment taking into account all potential dangers that could occur.
  • Make sure all dangerous goods are clearly labelled to avoid mix-ups or confusion.
  • Be prepared: have the necessary spill kits, eye washes, fire-fighting systems and any other equipment you may need in the event of an accident when removing or replacing stored dangerous substances.
  • Make sure your colleagues and employees are also fully kitted out with any equipment they will need to handle dangerous materials and to deal with accidents if they happen.
  • Ensure everyone in the workplace is aware of potential hazards by using clear and appropriate safety signage on and around your dangerous goods storage.
  • Invest in a cabinet you can rely on: for a high-quality storage or fire cabinet Perth businesses trust Sepmar’s wide range of options.

Where Can I Find Out More?

To learn more about safe storage, other safety precautions and how you can get the message out there about safety in the workplace, check out www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/national-safe-work-month. There is lots of information on events in the Perth area and a fantastic campaign kit which you can download to get your own safety initiative up and running. There’s even the chance to win $5000!

Do your bit to make Perth a safer and healthier place to work during National Work Safety Month by making sure your business is setting a great example when it comes to the storage and use of dangerous and hazardous substances.