Arrive Alive

Safe storage of chemicals vital to avoid disastrous fires

In the wake of the disaster at the northern Chinese port of Tianjin, Deidré Penfold, executive director of Chemical and Allied Industries Association (CAIA), reiterates that proper chemical storage is required to minimise the hazards associated with leaks, spills and accidental mixing of incompatible chemicals.

“According to news reports, the explosions in China took place at a warehouse, which contained hazardous and flammable chemicals, including calcium carbide, sodium cyanide, potassium nitrate, ammonium nitrate and sodium nitrate. Calcium carbide reacts with water to create highly explosive acetylene, which may have triggered off the blasts,” she explains.

“Indications are that the firefighters were on site before the explosions. The volatility of the chemicals means the fire was especially unpredictable and dangerous to approach.

“CAIA has produced a Dangerous Goods Segregation Wheel that indicates the load and/or storage compatibility of mixed cargoes at a glance, using the class warning diamonds in an easy to use wheel. It assists in the segregation and storage of chemicals according to their hazard class. This prevents an undesirable chemical reaction from occurring should two or more chemicals accidently mix. It also includes useful footnotes.”

Safe packing, transportation essential

Explosives, Class 1 dangerous goods, sodium cyanide Class 6.1, sodium nitrate and potassium nitrate both of Class 5.1 all have compatibility restrictions. Explosives cannot be stored or transported with any other chemicals and Class 5.1 and 6.1 chemicals should not be stored in close proximity to each other nor transported on the same vehicle.

When packages that contain dangerous goods are packed into a freight container, the consignor shall provide a container-packing certificate, specifying the container identifying number and that the packing has been carried out in accordance with certain conditions. Amongst these key requirements are that  clean, dry and fit containers do not contain goods that are incompatible; that packages have been externally inspected for damage or leakage and that only sound packages have been loaded; and that the freight container and all the packages therein have been properly labelled and placard.

“This unfortunate incident demonstrates that the management, storage and transport of hazardous chemicals, without considering their compatibility, could have disastrous consequences,” concludes Penfold.

The Dangerous Goods Segregation Wheel’s information is based on SANS 10231: Transport of Dangerous Goods and is available from CAIA at R50, excluding VAT, for non-members and R30, excluding VAT, for members.

CAIA launched the Responsible Care® programme in South Africa in 1994. This is the global chemical industry’s unique initiative to improve health, safety and environmental performance and to communicate with stakeholders about products and processes.

In addition to this programme, CAIA provides linkages to sustainability in the chemical industries’ value chain through advocacy, training, support of educational drives in maths and science and the advancement of these concepts into sub-Saharan Africa.

CAIA is a member of the International Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA), the worldwide voice of the chemical industry, representing chemical manufacturers and producers all over the world and is recognised by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). These international alliances allow the Association to source best practice in training, information, advocacy and legislative compliance. For more information, go to www.caia.co.za or call +27 (0) 11 482-1671.

The Dangerous Goods Segregation Wheel

Also view:

Safety from Fire at our Homes

Prevention and Treatment from Burns

Sharing the Roads with Trucks

 

Loading...

Search Road Safety Articles

Latest Pages

Safe Driving in Heavy Traffic

Safe Driving in Heavy Traffic

Introduction As urbanisation drives many to the cities and vehicle ownership increases, road users have to prepare themselves with the skills and attitude required to drive in heavy traffic much more often. Heavy traffic could be caused by numerous factors including: Usual rush-hour /

Read More

Road Safety Tips for the Festive Season from ArriveAlive.co.za

Road Safety Tips for the Festive Season from ArriveAlive.co.za

Obey the rules of the road and carry your driver’s license with you. Plan the route to your holiday destination and allow yourself enough time to reach the destination Make sure that your vehicle is in a roadworthy condition before departure. All lights and indicators, windscreens, windscreen

Read More

Scholar Patrol Awareness With Syntell

Scholar Patrol Awareness With Syntell

Scholar Patrol Awareness The Department of Community Safety, Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) and other stakeholders including Syntell come together, on an annual basis, to draw awareness to the importance of Scholar Patrol within our Johannesburg region schools. The function, which

Read More

Hijack Prevention Guidelines

Hijack Prevention Guidelines

Introduction: It has become increasingly difficult to steal motor vehicles, with all the anti-theft devices, such as immobilisers, gear-locks, etc. These steps have resulted in a dramatic increase in vehicle hijackings. The hijacker has the element of surprise and this is a concern. The increasing

Read More

Protecting Yourself against Hijackings

Protecting Yourself against Hijackings

Amidst the increase in hijackings in South Africa, it is very important to know some of the following aspects: How do the hijackers operate? When am I most at risk? How do I avoid being hijacked? What do I do when confronted? How to Avoid a Hijack Situation Sterling work has been

Read More

Hijacking and Road Safety

Hijacking and Road Safety

Hijacking in South Africa Carjackings between April 2005 and March 2006 = 12,825 Truck Hijackings between April 2005 and March 2006 = 829 The SAPS Strategic Plan (2004 – 2007) includes four key strategic priorities for the medium term. One of these is to: combat organised crime

Read More

Load More Pages

Partners

View All