People tend to clump warehouse storage in one category. What they fail to understand is that it takes a plethora of forms because each industry from food to retail has a different requirement. One notable aspect of warehousing that we, as a storage rack manufacturer in Chennai, feel is often understated is storing liquids. Currently, warehouses serve as the temporary home to an array of liquids like:
- Chemical used during a manufacturing process.
- Automotive fluids which go to repair shops or retail sector
- And any other liquid that is commercially sold or distributed
Each of these liquids needs to be handled in the right manner, somewhat similar to hazardous material. Storing of liquids comes with a long list of:
These guidelines are not only set by several governmental bodies but also the industry. Awareness of these regulations is the first step to storing liquids safely. Besides them, there are some tips and rules that any storage facility can utilise to maintain safe storage space. These are applicable to any chemical or liquid.
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1. Separate by class
Irrespective of the kind of warehouse storage you utilise, the first step to keeping liquid inventory is to sort all the items by their hazard class. Arrange them accordingly and then segregate them so that no cross-contamination occurs.
Keep in mind there will be some liquids that are not an immediate danger to the employees. But even these should be stored and handled with the utmost care and with strict adherence to manufacturing guidelines. A simple example is cooking oil and motor oil. The two should always be stored in separate sections so that they do not come in contact with each other.
2. Segregate flammables
One of the most significant rules of storing liquids in warehouses is to store any flammable material as far away as possible from all other elements. You can put the flammable liquids on their own or with other flammable substances.
A simple trick is to create a designated place for these items like a cabinet for all flammable material. This will ensure that they don’t come in contact with anything that increases the risk like a heat source or another chemical.
3. Don’t use the floor
A golden rule for storing liquids is never to use the floor as a storage space. Imagine an employee in a rush to get an item dispatched. As they move from one location of the warehouse to another, they bump into a liquid canister that is kept on the floor. If the canister is heavy, it can injure the employee. If the canister is light or not properly closed, it can fall and cause a spill.
Both scenarios are not suitable for the business. Moreover, by storing them on the floor, you hinder traffic movement. So, always use a storage rack to keep liquid inventory. Even the bottom-most rack of a pallet system is a safer choice than the floor. And yes, irrespective of how safe or dangerous the liquid is, it has to be kept off the floor. It will keep both the inventory and the employees protected from any damage.
4. Create proper ventilation
From the most hazardous liquid to the most benign one, each liquid must be kept in an area with proper ventilation. This means:
- A place where air can flow freely.
- No usage of chemical fume hoods.These tend to block the correct movement of air from and around the containers. Plus, they decrease the available workspace for employees.
- Sufficient space for each container to breathe.
When you utilise a racking system that offers ample ventilation around each item, you ensure that damage to the container or leak doesn’t result in a disaster.
5. Constant inspection is a must
The last tip to keeping a liquid inventory safe is to inspect the warehouse for any damage or mess frequently. To that end,
- Make certain that the area around the liquids is spick and span.
- Get rid of any clutter near the liquid storage space.
- Keep all the exists closest to the liquid unblocked at all times.
- Ensure there is easy access if a spill or leak does happen.
One final step is to invest in proper lighting, especially in the area where liquids are stored. The light will make even the smallest spill or leak visible, which increases safety.
Do keep in mind that all these steps for storing liquids are above and beyond the basic rules of a warehouse. If you are unsure of what kind of pallet system would fit your warehouse, then get in touch with a storage rack manufacturer in Chennai like us. As experts in storage solution, we’ll be able to tell you the precise racking system that befits the liquid you keep as inventory!