Concrete Tanks for Storing Dangerous Chemicals: A Guide

**Please note Versatile Tanks DO NOT repair water tanks**

If you work with dangerous chemicals and or goods, then you’ll know only too well about the rules and regulations surrounding this issue.

Here in Australia, a substance or article that can be found listed in the Australian Dangerous Goods (ADG) Code is one you need to take extra special care of – and not just in order to safeguard the company you’re working with but yourself too.

Dangerous Goods: What’s the Legislation?

There was call for the rules for storing dangerous goods to be simplified somewhat (back in November 2015) – with the placard limit for limited quantities of dangerous goods possibly being increased to 200kg or 2000L – and there are a few more things you should be aware of.

What Are Dangerous Goods?

You’re probably more than aware what falls under the ‘dangerous goods’ category but if not, explosives are class one, with gases being class two, flammable liquids class three and class four being flammable solids, or substances liable to spontaneous combustion. Plus, any substances which, on contact with water emit flammable gases, must also be stored correctly.

Here’s what else you should look out for:

  • Class 5 (oxidizing substances and organic peroxides)
  • Division 6.1 (toxic or substances)
  • Class 8 (corrosive substances)
  • Class 9 (miscellaneous dangerous substances and articles)

On top of this, any substance which is named or described in Schedule 1 of the Dangerous Goods Safety (Storage and Handling of Non-explosives) Regulations 2007 should be stored correctly.

Sulphur in any form also needs a dedicated storage solution, as does anything deemed a dangerous good by the department’s Chief Officer in accordance with r. 12A of the Dangerous Goods Safety Regulations 2007.

Do You Need to Safely Store Your Business’s Goods?

Of course, the methods for complying with the national standard for storing dangerous goods can vary widely – and this is dependent on the type of operation you’re running. More importantly, though, it can often come down to whether the business you’re working for serves and comes into contact with the general public. You’re expected to know and understand the difference between dangerous goods and hazardous substances, as laid out in the Code of Practice seen here.

Often, dangerous goods are classified only on the basis of immediate or long-term health effects, with different goods covered by their own regulations.

The National Model Regulations for the Control of Workplace Hazardous Substances [NOHSC:1005(1994)] apply to the storage, as well as the handling and use of substances of this kind in the workplace.

Always ensure you find out which kind of substances you’re dealing with and the best way to store them; it’s your duty to be clued up at all times and to comply by industry and legal regulations.

The Best Way to Store Dangerous Goods

So, what’s the best method for ensuring dangerous goods are safe and secure? How exactly do you store them to ensure they’re both safe and secure, and that they fall in line with legal requirements?

What you need is a dangerous goods storage tank – that’s right, there is such a thing. And if you have arms, ammunition, explosives and chemicals to conceal and store, it’s the very best solution out there.

With concrete explosive storage units and chemical and dangerous goods storage units designed and manufactured by a specialist company like ours, you can be safe in the knowledge that you’re doing things by the book.

Available in three sizes, dangerous goods concrete storage tanks and explosive storage units are rectangular, square or modular. Features include a 920-wide access door, a high security lock system, heavy duty strap door hinges, and a six-lever safe lock – all the key elements for an extremely secure storage solution.

Cost-effective and a time-saving option to a conventional structure, concrete storage tanks like this are fully moisture-proof. On top of this, they can come with a specially-designed convex roof to reduce the possibility of injury or damage in the result of an explosion.

And What If I’m Transporting Dangerous Goods?

You’ve discovered how to store dangerous goods, but what if you need to transport them anywhere – then what? The Australian Dangerous Goods Code lays out the technical requirements for moving dangerous goods by road or rail and the code is given legal force in each and every Australian state. This generally falls in line with each state and territory’s transport laws, with an onus the National Transport Commission (NTC) to maintain the code.

To give you an indication of the type of goods which are classified as dangerous when in transit, we’ve pulled out some key information from the National Health and Safety Commission’s guide to storing and handling goods like these.

In short, these goods are those that are supplied to premises in containers that are not opened at the premises, are not used, and are kept on-site for a period of not more than five consecutive days.

Think the goods you use and handle fall under this category? Don’t delay; enquire about your suitability for a bespoke dangerous goods concrete tank and get the installation process underway at your earliest opportunity.

The Installation Process

When it comes to the installation process of your dangerous goods concrete tank it is not quite as arduous a process as you imagined.

First, your tank and the land it’s on needs to match – and there needs to be adequate access for the machinery needed to complete the installation itself.

Has the surrounding land been checked for any electricity, gas, sewer, telephone, mains water and storm water services, for example? Get in touch with your local authority for the relevant information and double check if you’re in an area that’s prone to flooding before going ahead with a project like this. If this is the case, you’ll certainly need to seek another method of installation.

Be aware also that if you’re working at a premises at which dangerous goods are stored and handled you must comply with training, instructions and notices given or displayed by the occupier that relate to the safety of such goods.

Alongside this, you mustn’t remove, cover, block, erase, mutilate or interfere with any sign, label or marking that is erected or affixed in accordance with this national standard. Of course, it’s vital that you bring yourself up to speed with these regulations if you’re working with or handling dangerous goods.

…and What About Installation Cost?

Now for the most important consideration – price. As an architect or engineer, how much a project like this will set you back is certainly something you won’t want to overlook.

Each project needs to be assessed individually, however, before we can come up with a quote for you to consider.

Magazine storage units can feature anything from a protective high grade painted finish, to full ventilation if you’re storing ammunition or high level explosives – and the cost can’t be determined until we’ve discovered more about your unique requirements.

Want to know more? Do not hesitate to get in touch with our team here at Versatile Tanks and we’ll talk you through your options. Don’t forget to take a look at the National Occupational Health and Safety Commission’s guide to the storage and handling of dangerous goods, too.

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