When storing chemicals such as pesticides in the farmyard, certain precautions should be met to ensure the safety and welfare of your employees and premises. There are seven key areas to address to ensure chemical safety where large volumes of pesticides are present:
As chemicals are being stored outdoors in a farmyard, the risk of vandalism and theft increases. Protect against potential hazards with a pesticide storage solution that is securely hinged as this makes it harder to force the doors open. Choose a durable lock and keep the keys in a safe location, monitoring them to ensure none go missing. Tidy away and secure any tools that could potentially be used to aid a break in to the cabinet. Additionally, make sure the storage solution has clear warning signs, as an added deterrent against vandalism.
- Fire Safety
Certain safety measures should be met to decrease the risk of damage in the event of a fire. For one, if the cabinet is a walk-in solution, an emergency fire escape door should be installed to ensure personnel do not get trapped in an internal blaze. Fire suppression systems can also be installed, which commonly detect fire through heat sensors, manual detection or wiring. They generally release a fire dampening spray into the room to put this out.
- Disposal & Stockpiling
To prevent accidents, only buy the exact amount of pesticides you need now or in the near future. By only storing a necessary level of chemicals, you are decreasing the risk to your farmyard. A smaller stock of chemicals means a decreased fire risk, reducing the possibility of contamination and more space in your farmyard. Keeping the correct amount in your stores also involves correctly disposing of old chemicals rather than keeping them, ensuring that old pesticide chemicals are not accidentally used.
Some pesticides are affected by temperature and so you should read the label carefully for storage instructions. Generally, pesticides are best stored between 4-32° Celsius (40-90° Fahrenheit). Extreme heat or cold can change the chemistry of some pesticides and/or damage the containers they are held within. To protect against high heats, ensure the pesticide storage unit is well ventilated. Likewise, if you live in a cooler climate, choose a well insulated cabinet to ensure the cold does not cause damage. Furthermore, temperature control systems can be installed to regulate the heat within the storage.
Dedicate a cabinet solely to storing pesticides. Be especially careful never to store these in a cabinet with food, animal feed or medical supplies. If the container leaks, or vapours rise, they can contaminate materials in close proximity. Therefore, anything that is ingested or put over an open wound should be kept far away to prevent accidental poisoning from occurring. Make sure any water flowing past the cabinet does not run directly into an animal living area as this could be contaminated in the case of leaks.
- Original Containers
Always store pesticides in their original containers as these are the most secure option. This allows you to easily identify the chemicals and whether they have gone past their use by date. Keep the original label listing the ingredients and directions attached to the container. This can prove vital if the pesticide is accidentally consumed. Furthermore, placing them in another container, such as a drinks bottle, can cause them to be mistaken for something to eat or drink.
Where you locate your pesticide storage is highly important. Designate a specific space, used only for storing chemicals, to keep your farmyard as safe as possible. Pick an area that children or animals will not frequent which is out of the way of farmyard machinery to prevent accidents. To protect against contamination, select an area away from water sources, such as ponds, streams and drinking water wells. Ensure your store is located away from materials that may ignite a fire, such as furnaces, cars, outdoor grills or machinery. As previously mentioned, make sure the store is kept away from food sources.
Adhering to these best practices will help you to protect your farmyard and your workers. For more information on chemical storage solutions, read our previous posts or view our range of pesticide storage.