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Hazardous goods can be dangerous because they might pose a risk to people, the environment or a property that they are store on. This can be as a result of their chemical make up or their physical properties. Hazardous goods are often classified directly relating to the risk that they pose. Common hazardous/dangerous goods include acids, petrol, paints, LPG and pesticides. When incidents occur and involve any of these types of items, they can cause fires and explosions and cause injuries and property damage and can cause environmental problems. When dangerous goods are not handled correctly, they can cause many serious health issues including poisoning and chemical burns.

How can these hazardous goods be stored to keep you and your environment safe? One trend over recent years has been the use of old shipping containers to contain and store these materials. This trend is supported with a large supply of used shipping containers, around 17 million of them. It is easy to source shipping containers to store dangerous goods, but it should be noted that if a container is no longer worthy for storing general freight, how is it reliable for storing hazardous materials?

The storage of dangerous goods should be done correctly with the right ventilation, proper signage and a spill containment sump to ensure that the products are collected if accidentally spilled.

Spill Containment

A facility should have the ability to contain any accidental spills that happen. If dangerous goods being stored inside of a container are accidentally spilled, this can increase the risk that the dangerous goods may harm people, the environment or the surrounding property. The installation of a spill containment sump can help to contain the goods and ensure that they are correctly stored in a safe manner.

Dangerous goods signage

Equally important for the storage of dangerous goods is adequate signage which displays information about the dangerous goods that are stored. Safety signate ensures that works can identify what class the dangerous goods being stored fall under. There are different signage requirements for every class of dangerous goods.

Protection against harsh chemicals

Every class of dangerous goods has certain physical and chemical properties. These properties can make goods hazardous and cause problems to the environment and pose a risk to people. A storage facility must be correctly created to ensure that people and property are adequately protected against specific classes of dangerous goods.

Ventilation

Certain classifications of dangerous goods including flammable liquids, corrosive substances, toxic substances and peroxides give off hazardous vapours that can cause major health problems. There are different ways that a person can be poisoned from dangerous goods including inhalation, skin contact and ingestion. The most common form of exposure is inhalation and to reduce the risk of that exposure, proper ventilation is required for the storage of these hazardous chemicals.

Dangerous goods stored inside of shipping containers can pose risks for people who want to use the container as a workshop. Hot work such as grinding, and welding can ignite vapours and cause fires. This is why containers that are used to store hazardous goods must not container workshops.

Shipping containers that are used to store dangerous goods should not have wooden floor boards. The main reason is that wooden floor boards absorb dangerous chemicals and are easy to contaminate. If a substance can have a dangerous reaction with a chemical and is stored in a container with wooden floor boards it can lead to fires which can cause even more dangerous gases.

Since dangerous goods are used in many industries, it is important to safely store and transport these products so that they do not cause harm to human life, wildlife or the environment. When dangerous goods are transported, they are done so under strict regulations which govern how they are stored, transported and handled. Shipping containers are the preferred shipment option for dangerous goods transport because they can protect the goods within as well as the environment on the outside from the dangerous items, they container.

What Makes Shipping Containers Ideal for the Storage of Dangerous Goods?

  1. Easy to Transport – there is plenty of infrastructure around the world set up to handle shipping containers and transport containerized goods. Dangerous goods shipping containers do not require different equipment to handle them because they are regular containers with some modifications. They can be transported with intermodal units over land and sea.

  2. Easily modified – A shipping container can be modified for the storage of dangerous goods when compared to the construction and design of a new container for this purpose. It costs less to modify the container than to start from scratch.

  3. Re-usability – Once the dangerous goods have been removed from storage, a shipping container can be converted back to regular shipping usage. It can also be kept solely to be used to store dangerous goods rather than having to buy a new container each time you are storing dangerous goods.

  4. Strength – Shipping containers are designed to stand up to the rough seas during transport across oceans. This is why it makes sense to use them to transport sensitive cargo. Shipping containers offer protection for dangerous goods against a wide range of weather and physical damage.

Dangerous goods container modifications are designed to provide safety. It is very important to ensure that certain hazardous goods are kept secure and modified containers are designed to ensure that they provide the most protection while still meeting all safety standards.

Image from https://www.tigercontainers.com/

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