KNOW THE LAWS: Requirements for Storing Hazardous Substances

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KNOW THE LAWS: Requirements for Storing Hazardous Substances

Here are the storage requirements for hazardous substances in general in the OHS regulations in each jurisdiction:

FED Canada OHS Regulations:

1. Every hazardous substance stored in a workplace must be stored in a manner whereby the hazard related to that substance is reduced to a minimum [Sec. 10.8].

2. Where a hazardous substance is stored in a workplace, any hazard resulting from that storage must be confined to as small an area as is practicable [Sec. 10.9].

3. The quantity of a hazardous substance for use or processing in a workplace must, to the extent that’s practicable, be limited to the quantity required for one work day [Sec. 10.11].

4. Where a hazardous substance is stored in a workplace, warnings must be given in appropriate places at access points warning every person granted access to the workplace of the presence of the hazardous substance and any precautions to be taken to prevent or reduce any hazard of injury to health [Sec. 10.13].

AB OHS Code 2009:

1. An employer must ensure that a harmful substance stored at a work site is:

a. clearly identified or its container is clearly identified; and

b. stored in such a way that the storage isn’t a hazard to workers [Sec. 27].

BC OHS Regulations:

1. Bulk or reserve quantities of a hazardous substance must be stored in a designated area separate from the work area [Sec. 5.23(2)].

2. Substances which are incompatible must not be stored in a manner that would allow them to mix in the event of container leakage, breakage or other such circumstance [Sec. 5.24].

3. A hazardous substance must be stored in a designated area, in a manner which ensures that it won’t readily fall, become dislodged, suffer damage or be exposed to conditions of extreme temperature [Sec. 5.25].

4. The designated storage area for a hazardous substance must be:

a) designed and constructed to provide for the safe containment of the contents;

b) clearly identified by signs, placards or similar means;

c) designed and maintained to allow the safe movement of workers, equipment and material;

d) provided with adequate ventilation and lighting; and

e) in a location not normally occupied by workers and not in a location such as a lunchroom, eating area, change room, clothing storage locker or passenger compartment of a vehicle [Sec. 5.26].

MB Workplace Safety & Health Regulation:

1. An employer must ensure that all workplace materials are stored in a manner that doesn’t create a risk to the safety or health of a worker or affect the safe operation of the workplace [Sec. 7.1].

NB OHS Regulation:

1. An employer must designate one or more competent employees to be responsible for the proper handling and storage of hazardous substances [Sec. 58].

2. An employer must ensure that a worker involved in the storage of a hazardous substance is:

a. trained in the safe storage of the substance; and

b. provided with adequate information concerning the identity, nature and potential hazards of the substance [Sec. 59].

3. An employer must ensure that a container used for a hazardous substance is stored in accordance with the specifications of the supplier [Sec. 60(e)].

4. An employer must ensure that the precautions to be taken in the storage of a hazardous substance are available on the container or on a separate information sheet kept near the container [Sec. 61].

5. An employer must ensure that a hazardous substance is stored so as to protect the health and safety of workers, using information available on an MSDS or obtained from the supplier or another reliable source [Sec. 66].

6. An employer must ensure that a substance that may react with other substances to cause a fire or explosion or to liberate a flammable or toxic gas or to create any other

hazardous condition is stored separately from such other substances [Sec. 67].

NL OHS Regulations, 2012:

1. Bulk or reserve quantities of a hazardous substance must be stored in a designated area separate from the work area [Sec. 57(2)].

2. Substances which are incompatible may not be stored in a manner that would allow them to mix in the event of container leakage, breakage or other similar circumstance [Sec. 58].

3. A hazardous substance must be stored in a designated area, in a manner which ensures that it can’t readily fall, become dislodged, suffer damage or be exposed to conditions of extreme temperature [Sec. 59(1)].

4. A designated storage area for a hazardous substance must be:

a. designed and constructed to provide for the safe containment of the contents;

b. clearly identified by signs, placards or similar means;

c. designed and maintained to allow the safe movement of workers, equipment and material;

d. provided with adequate ventilation and lighting; and

e. in a location not normally occupied by workers, including a lunchroom, eating area, change room, clothing storage locker or passenger compartment of a vehicle [Sec. 59(2)].

NT/NU General Safety Regulations:

1. Material must be stored so as not to constitute a hazard to workers [Sec. 27].

NS OHS Regulations:

1. An employer must ensure that a container used for storing a hazardous substance is designed, constructed and maintained in an adequate manner [Sec. 36(1)].

2. In determining whether or not a container is adequate, an employer must consider:

a. the MSDS for the substance, if one exists;

b. information provided by the supplier;

c. whether there’s a means of ensuring that a leak can be readily detected;

d. the location where the container is stored, including:

i. the foundation on which the container is placed and its ability to resist reaction with the hazardous substance, and

ii. the need for overflow pipes, catch basins and other similar devices to ensure that the contents of the hazardous substance are contained in case of a leak; and

e. the need to ensure that the container doesn’t significantly corrode from exposure to the hazardous substance in the container [Sec. 36(2)].

3. Where a hazardous substance is likely to create a hazard if it reacts with another substance, an employer must ensure that the substances are stored separately [Sec. 39].

ON Control of Exposure to Biological or Chemical Agents Regulation:

1. Every employer must take all measures reasonably necessary in the circumstances to protect workers from exposure to a hazardous biological or chemical agent because of the storage of such agent in the workplace [Sec. 3(1)].

PE OHS Regulations don’t have general storage requirements for hazardous substances, only requirements for specific types of substances, such as hazardous liquids.
QC Regulation respecting occupational health and safety:

1. The storage of dangerous substances must be so controlled as to prevent accidental spillage or lighting of these substances. The following precautions must be taken:

a. separate or isolate any dangerous substances which when mixed with other substances, may cause a fire or an explosion, or may discharge flammable or toxic gases; and

b. keep containers, piping and other apparatus in good working order [Sec. 72].

SK OHS Regulations:

1. Where the storage at a place of employment of a chemical substance that’s flammable, oxidizing, corrosive or dangerously reactive may put at risk the health or safety of a worker, an employer, contractor or owner must ensure that:

a. the substance is stored:

i. in a self-contained enclosure, room or building that’s isolated from work-related areas and worksites and is adequately ventilated; and

ii. protected from conditions, including excessive temperature, shock or vibration, that could reduce the stability or increase the potential hazard of the substance;

b. subject to Secs. 319 to 324, a durable, legible sign setting out the harmful characteristics of the substance and the precautions to be taken for storage is posted at each entrance to the enclosure, room or building in which the substance is stored; and

c. the container in which the substance is kept:

i. subject to Secs. 319 to 324, is clearly labelled with the name, harmful characteristics and precautions to be taken for the safe storage of the substance or substances;

ii. subject to Sec. 365, is designed, constructed and maintained to contain the substance securely and to be resistant to the substance and any other substances to which the container may be exposed;

iii. is sealed or covered; and

iv. is stored in a manner to protect the container from falls or damage [Sec. 314(1)].

2. Where two or more chemical substances, when combined, produce a toxic, corrosive or explosive reaction, an employer, contractor or owner must ensure that the substances are effectively separated and stored to prevent the substances from combining [Sec. 314(2)].

YT OHS Regulations:

1. One or more qualified persons must be designated as being responsible for proper handling and storage of hazardous substances as established by the Occupational Health Regulations [Sec. 8.16(1)].

2. Workers involved with the storage of hazardous substances must be:

a. adequately trained; and

b. provided with adequate and current information concerning the identity, nature and potential hazards of the hazardous substances [Sec. 8.16(2)].

3. Hazardous substances must be stored so the safety and health of workers is protected, using the information available on a MSDS or from the supplier or another reliable source [Sec. 8.16(3)].

4. A substance that may react with other substances to cause a fire or explosion, liberate a flammable or toxic gas, or create any other hazardous condition must be stored separately from such other substances [Sec. 8.16(4)].

5. A container used for hazardous substances must be stored in accordance with the specifications and recommendations of the supplier [Sec. 8.16(9)(d)].

6. Precautions to be taken in the storage of a hazardous substance must be available on the container or on a MSDS kept near the container [Sec. 8.16(10)].