Do you work in an industry that uses hazardous materials? Maybe you work in a school and want to improve your chemical storage. Or do you need a secure place in your garage to store strong cleaning products? You’ve come to the right place, as this article contains all the information you need about COSHH-compliant storage.
COSHH stands for The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002; therefore, by having COSHH-compliant storage, you are following health and safety laws and meeting legal standards. This is very important as when working with any hazardous materials, essential steps and precautions must be taken to ensure everything is handled correctly and safely.
COSHH labels many substances as being hazardous, including, but not limited to, biological agents, fumes, asphyxiating gases and many types of chemicals. Most types of these substances need to be stored in a COSHH cabinet. This is to ensure any dangerous chemicals are securely put away to reduce the risk of harm to employees and the workplace.
To be able to decide on which type of COSHH storage cupboard or cabinets best suits your needs, a risk assessment must be carried out. This not only helps identify how many cabinets may be needed by outlining the health hazards, but also highlights the danger of certain chemicals and whether or not they need to be segregated from others. For example, explosive chemicals have the potential to be extremely dangerous and, therefore must always be stored on their own, separate from any other chemicals. The risk assessment can also help devise a clear emergency plan in case of an accident.
There are many benefits of storing materials in our COSHH-compliant cabinets instead of non-compliant storage. One of which is all our cabinets have an implemented liquid-tight sump to prevent leakage*. This ensures that any spills of dangerous chemicals are caught using absorbent materials and do not pose any risk of spreading into the environment. Another benefit is that all cabinets can be locked using a key. This prevents unauthorised access to dangerous substances and ensures that only trained personnel can access the cabinets.
Also, all our cabinets are clearly labelled with warning stickers, including ‘hazardous’ and ‘flammable’. This makes them very easy to spot and recognise as COSHH cabinets as opposed to regular cabinets. They are made from an all-steel construction with heavy-duty galvanised shelves making them very sturdy and robust, able to withstand large loads, up to 70kg per shelf.
Additionally, all our COSHH-compliant cabinets are suitable for storing various materials such as chemicals, flammable liquids, acids & alkalis, and agrochemicals.
* Except wall-mounted cupboards
Which type of COSHH storage is best for me?
We have a fantastic range of COSHH-compliant cabinets and cupboards to help you create the perfect storage solution for all your hazardous materials. Not only do we have different sizes, colours and designs available, but you can also be sure they all meet legal requirements and comply with all the control of substances hazardous to health regulations.
There are three main types of cabinets available: mobile, wall-mounted and standard. Our standard range includes compact cabinets for limited space, tall cabinets for when extra storage is needed and floor chests for when a large amount of materials needs to be stored. All our cabinets come with at least one shelf, and additional shelving is available to purchase to maximise your storage space.
We hope this article has helped you gain a better insight into COSHH-compliant storage. If you have any questions or queries, please do not hesitate to contact our friendly and knowledgeable team, who would be happy to help.
For more information about storing chemicals safely, read our comprehensive Hazardous Storage Guide.
Note: This article covers the basics only and is not intended to provide a full guide to COSHH Storage Regulations. Before conducting your COSHH assessments, please refer to the guidance from the HSE.gov website here.
Richard O'Connor is a Director at First Mats. He has deep knowledge in areas like Manufacturing, Warehousing, Marine, and Health & Safety. Richard's insights have been featured in well-known publications such as Bloomberg Business, The Sun, and Reader's Digest. His blend of industry expertise and passion for sharing makes him a sought-after voice in his fields.