Temperature sensitive chemicals can present a serious safety hazard in the workplace. In the event of over-heating or freezing, depending on their sensitivity, not only will such hazardous materials be adversely affected and no longer usable but they may become volatile and dangerous.
Where chemicals have defined maximum and minimum temperatures in which they must be stored, U.K. businesses need to install purpose built temperature controlled storage units to maximise workplace safety.
1. How do temperature controlled stores work?
Each temperature controlled store is fitted with an adjustable thermostat. This allows the temperature range to be set to the necessary level +/- 2°c. For storage of hazardous materials sensitive to cold temperatures, electric heaters work to heat the Chemical storage unit while the insulated construction prevents heat loss. As an added benefit, the insulated construction also improves the energy efficiency of the stores.For storage of substances sensitive to extreme heat, the chemical store can be fitted with a cooling system.
Any changes in the temperature settings are recorded for security purposes. If the internal climate goes outside of the pre-set range, an alarm will then alert personnel of the danger.
2. What are the typical features of temperature controlled storage units?
Temperature controlled Chemical stores can be purchased with heating only (for storage of chemicals sensitive to low temperatures) or with full temperature control(heating & cooling).
The stores will come with the afore mentioned thermostat controls and monitors to provide constant records of the internal temperature. There are normally spare contacts in the control panel to allow connection of the panel to a BMS to allow monitoring of the temperature in the chemical store.
Separate compartments within the storage can have different temperatures set, in order to facilitate the containment of many different chemicals.
For convenience, the climate controlled storage can also be delivered to site fully assembled. All it requires to be functional is connection to a secure power supply. The Chemical stores are also environmentally friendly due to their compliance with the requirements of PPG26.
This certification by the Environment Agency for England and Wales, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency and the Northern Ireland Environment Agency, demonstrates that they are designed to reduce the risk of environmental pollution from chemical drums and IBC’s.
3. How does controlled climate storage ensure the safety of temperature sensitive chemicals?
Certain chemicals will have dangerous reactions to extreme temperatures. Heat fluctuations cause their structures to change, resulting in unusable chemicals, toxic fumes being released, fires breaking out, or even explosions, if left unchecked.
Unfortunately, since many companies store their substances in stores without insulation, which can cause temperatures to vary drastically in heat waves or freezing periods, these are very real risks. Climate control storage removes this danger and ensures the safety of your workplace, by storing them at controlled temperatures and preventing reactions from occurring.
Interested in discovering more about chemical safety in the workplace?
For further information on temperature controlled storage or chemical safety, browse our previous posts on these subjects. Or, get in touch with our expert team. With decades of experience customizing chemical stores for companies, we’re more than qualified to advise on methods of increasing your business’s security.