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Hazardous chemical storage and handling

What are the various modes of hazardous chemical storage and handling in industries?


Various modes of hazardous chemical storage and handling in industries are as follows:


  • Storage tanks for hazardous liquids are preferably installed in open air above or below ground level. While there is total safety from drips and sprays from underground tanks, the danger of undetected leaks in tanks containing corrosive or toxic chemicals outweighs the above safety advantage.
  • Tank for holding volatile liquids should be bonded and grounded and should have emergency venting devices. Remote venting system ‘should be provided if tanks are located in poorly ventilated area or indoors.
  • Tanks at ground level should have adequate dike walls with proper means of access and controlled draining system. Arrangement of water for dilution, safety shower and transfer pumps’ should ‘also be planned to meet’ emergencies.
  • Compressed air should not be used for transferring flammable or toxic liquids from the tanks.
  • In some tanks’ both filling and emptying of, tanks pipelines arc’ provided through top. In such tanks self priming or pumps which generate enough suction to lift the liquid from bottom of the tank, should be provided. The pump should not be allowed to get primed with dangerous liquids.
  • Tanks should have level gauges, pressure and temperature indicators, reliefs. Wherever needed and adequate manholes.

B. Pipelines:


Chemical pipelines should preferably installed in trenches or tunnels. If they are required to be installed overhead, they should be so laid that the points which give rise to leakage (plugs, nipple, flanges, valves, vents, drains, etc.) do not come in. The area where number and frequency of persons working’ ‘nearby or passing under the pipe rack 15 mote. Pipelines for flammable should not be installed in tunnels on account of possibility of built up of flames mixture and subsequent fire risk.


  • Opening the wrong valve invites accidents.
  • Remedy: Tagging procedure, Color code for piping.
  • Failure to de pressurize and drain the pipelines before flanges bolts are loosened is yet another cause of accident.
  • Remedy: Permit to work system opening the bolts which are farthest away first. Blinds should be inserted in flanges as soon as they are open. For lines which required to be opened after. Figure eight blinds permanently pivoted on a flange bolt can be used.
  • HOT INSULATION are necessary for steam and other hot lines. The flammable chemical lines should be so laid that in case of leakage the flammable chemicals do not come in contact with uninsulated portion of hot lines.
  • COLOR CODE: Distinctive color codes for identification of pipelines is a must for safety besides housekeeping and outlook point of view. Following are the color codes for some of the important chemicals.

Color codes for identification of pipelines are as follows:

ChemicalGround ColorFirst Color BandSecond Color Band
AmmoniaDark Violet (796)—-—-
Nitrous GasesCanary Yellow(309) French Blue—-
SynthesisCanary Yellow (309)Signal RedBlack
Natural GasCanary Yellow(309)Signal Red—-
 C02Canary Yellow(309)Light Grey—-
HydrocarbonsCanary Yellow(309)Light GreyLight Brown(410)
MethanolDeep Buff(360)—-—-
Caustic Terra Cota (444)French Blue—-
AmmoniaDark Violet(796)Golden Yellow—-
Nitric AcidDar violetLight Brown—-
DIL. H2S04Dark VioletBrilliantLight Orange
—-—-Green (221)—-
Con.H2S04DarkGreen (221)Signal Red

C. Portable containers:

As far as possible the use of portable containers should be avoided or at least minimized by providing tanks, pipe lines and pumps. If they must be used then following safety considerations are must.

Portable containers

  • Floors of storage area should be of good quality concerted construction which is better resistant for corrosion as well as satisfactory for flammable chemical.
  • Storage should be well ventilated and should have drainage facility. Area of ventilation openings should be at least 5% of floor area.
  • Barrel tilting device and static charges bonds and grounds should be used while transferring the leaky barrel to good one.
  • Material of construction of container should not react with the contents. Accordingly use glass, PVC, Galvanized iron etc. A glass jug or jar fitted into a metal can is a good container for corrosive and ‘poisonous containers.
  • Containers should have secure stoppers, bungs plungs Etc. Highly topic substances should kept in containers of distinctive shape.
  • Containers should plainly labelled, Materials should in the custody of authorized possible persons and should delivered to authorized persons only.
  • Where caustic and acids are stored/candles, emergency flood showers and eye wash fountain should be available.
  • Canister/ chin cartridge type gas mask, dusk mask.
  • PC shit/ apron, head, goggles, PVC gloves, gum ‘boots should kept at site for safe handling.

Fitting to be inspected and kept in good condition in tilling station.

  • Hose pipes for filling or emptying.
  • Hose Clamps.
  • Valves, nipples, valves, handle.
  • Bonding and earthling connection.

D. Cylinder handling in Industries:

Cylinder handling in Industries

  • Do not drop.
  • Do not use magnetic crane.
  • Unload on surfaces which are padded with mattress to minimize shock.
  • Store vertically with caps on.
  • Store away from passage, entrances, stairs, aisles etc.

Cylinder handling in Industries

  • Empty cylinders should weighed before depressing and opening the valve assembly from testing. Cylinder should slowly depressurized. After securing it to depressurizing deck. Do not interchange the valve assemblies of cylinders of different gases.
  • Store away from n/ direct heat.
  • Leaky cylinders should kept at isolated place to minimize/avoid exposure of persons. The area should be cord ones off with warning signs. 

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