Which Hazardous Storage Cabinet do you need to keep your staff, visitors and site safe?

Almost every business, regardless of size, will need some sort of hazardous storage cabinet on-site as part of their standard operations. It could be something as simple as a bottle of bleach for cleaning washrooms to more complex & harmful materials in school labs, factories, hospitals and workshops. Safe storage of these materials is critical to help ensure that you're meeting your regulatory obligations but more importantly to keep your staff, visitors and site as safe as possible. Tips for Storing Hazardous Materials Safely: i) Establish a clear, written process  (including emergency procedures) with roles and responsibilities for storing, moving and handling any hazardous materials that all colleagues can access at any time ii) Start with prevention - operate in such a way as to minimise all risks and avoid any dangers - this is the responsibility of your designated Health & Safety Manager on site iii) Keep only the volume required for a specific task in a cabinet, keeping larger quantities in a specificed chemcial storage area iv) Ensure the  storage area is well ventilated, close to washing facilities and with only those trained in handling contents allowed access v) Store materials in their original, labelled containers, with the lids on and according to the manufacturer's instructions - never store materials in old food or drink containers that might confuse people vi) Have container labels facing outwards, with heavier items on the lower shelves and wherever possible buy tablet and powder formats rather than liquid. Ensure that substances cannot accidently mix with each other which could cause a dangerous reaction. vii) Integrated sump trays will catch any leaks or spilled liquids but it's best practice to clear up any spills immediately and keep the area clean, tidy and organised at all times. viii) Minimise the number of different products stored at any one time and only keep those items which are frequently required ix) Dispose of any leftover materials as soon as they're finished with and always by the use by date x) Review your policy frequently, inspect the safety of your storage cabinets and equipment and replace / amend where necessary For more advice visit the H&S Executive website by clicking here
Which type of hazardous storage cabinet do you need?

How do you know whether you need a flammable, COSHH, acid & alkali or pesticide cabinet?  Our useful guide below gives you some advice on the types of materials which could be stored in each of the different cabinets*.   Minimising risk using hazardous storage cabinets: Before selecting a particular product it's worth highlighting that hazardous storage cabinets do not eliminate risk entirely but will manage risk when used in conjunction with a series of other measures (see our advice above). Cabinets are available in a range of colour options but there are some common colours which help Health & Safety practitioners, emergency services and other professional quickly identify the types of materials stored within a particular cabinet e.g. yellow for flammable, green for agrochemical & pesticide etc. Flammable Storage Cabinets 
  • Colour: Usually yellow or dark grey
  • Hazard Label: black flame inside a white diamond with a red border.   
Flammable items should not be stored in the same cabinet as any other materials which may accelerate a fire or compromise the integrity of the storage cabinet itself. The design and purpose of a flammable cabinet is to create a physical barrier in order to stall the spread of the fire and to allow time for the safe escape of people working in the proximity - it is not the objective of such cabinets to wholly contain or survive a fire. Flammable products can include household items such as nail varnish and body sprays along with more complex chemicals such as ethanol and chloropropylene - the packaging will have the same hazard warning label as cabinets.   To view the range of James Bedford flammable storage cabinets please click here C.O.S.H.H Cabinets
  • Colour: Usually Silver Grey
  • Hazard Label: black exclamation mark (!) inside a white diamond with a red border.  
C.O.S.H.H. (Control of Substances Harmful to Health) regulations are enforced to protect workers from exposure to the harmful effects of a range of dangerous materials which can cause irritation and / or poisoining. Cabinets can help ensure that only those people who have been trained in the handling and usage of such items can get access to them. Products that might be stored in a C.O.S.H.H. cabinet include (but not exhaustive) bleach, cleaning products, adhesives, paints & stripper, lubricants and disinfectants.   To view the range of James Bedford C.O.S.H.H. cabinets please click here Acid & Alkali Cabinets
  • Colour: Usually White
  • Hazard Label: black test tube, liquid dropping onto a hand inside a white diamond with a red border
Similar to C.O.S.H.H., Acid & Alkali cabinets are designed for the safe storage of materials that could be dangerous and/or corrosive. Acid & Alkali cabinets are constructed from 0.9mm zintec steel to offer extra corrosive resistence when materials are stored according to the manufacturers guidelines, but are not designed to be 'acid-proof', that is they will corrode if materials are stored without lids on.  Special care should be taken when storing acids and alkalies to avoid mixing together materials which are not compatible and could cause a dangerous reaction. Examples of materials which might be stored in acid and alkali cabinets include sodium hydroxide or ammonium hydroxide amongst many others.   To view the range of James Bedford Acid & Alkali cabinets please click here Agrochemical & Pesticide Cabinets 
  • Colour: Usually Green 
  • Hazard Label: black exclamation mark (!) inside a white diamond with a red border.
The main difference with Agrochemical & Pesticide cabinets is that all doors are vented to allow for the escape of any hazardous gases. Storage of materials that could generate harmful gases as part of storage need this ventilation to ensure there isn't a dangerous build up inside the cabinet. Typical examples of products stored in pesticide cabinets include household insecticides and weedkillers, to more agricultural items such as fungicides and boric acid. To view the range of James Bedford Agrochemical & Pesticide cabinets please click here  Common Features of all James Bedford Hazardous Storage Cabinets include: 
  • Reinforced, rebated doors with a retaining lip to create an additional barrier
  • Fully removable sump tray in the bottom of the cabinet to catch and dispose of spills easily (included for most sizes see individual specs)
  • Supplied with fully adjustable shelves with a 75kg UDL and which can be placed lip down or reversed and placed lip up to act as an additional spillage tray
  • All cabinet doors are secured by a 3 way locking chrome lever handle supplied with 2 numbered keys from a mastered series
  • Hazard warning sticker supplied for self-application
For more information you can visit the Health & Safety Executive website by clicking here * Please note this advice is for general illustrative purposes only and the Health & Safety Manager for your specific site should make recommendations on the most appropriate cabinet for your circumstances before you purchase anything. The above is for  general guidance only and should not be followed without further consultation with your own Health & Safety practitioner.