German China

Safety Storage/Explosion Protection

What is the Difference Between Active and Passive Storage of Hazardous Materials?

| Author / Editor: Marc Platthaus* / Dr. Jörg Kempf

Easy access to media and storage containers: The push-to-opening door technology and the automatically extending pull-out trays permit easy access to stored media and simple replacement of the canisters.
Easy access to media and storage containers: The push-to-opening door technology and the automatically extending pull-out trays permit easy access to stored media and simple replacement of the canisters. (Bild: Düperthal)

There are different technical and administrative requirements on the one side for active storage of chemicals and on the other side for passive storage of chemicals. When do we refer to active storage and when to passive storage? Discover, what is important for safe hazardous substance storage in this article.

Transferring dichloromethane from a canister to a smaller storage bottle — such or similar processes are performed thousands of times each day in laboratories around the world. But what to watch out for when they wish to do this properly in accordance with the safety standards?

One major factor is knowing the difference between active and passive storage. According to item 2.6 of the Explosion Protection Portal of the BG RCI: “During passive storage [...], containers are tightly closed and may not be filled or emptied or opened for any reason while they are being stored.”

Examined more closely, it becomes clear that passive storage of flammable liquids is more the exception than the rule. For this reason, users should also familiarise themselves with the regulations for active storage of flammable and hazardous substances: As soon as active storage is performed, you must not only take into account TRGS (Technical Rules for Hazardous Substances) 526 and TRGS 510 Annex 3 in your risk assessment and the associated explosion protection documents, as well as requirements from the TRGS 509, TRBS 2153 and EN 60079-10.

Measures for Active Storage

For active storage, a connection to industrial ventilation and the careful monitoring of safety cabinets are mandatory, preventing the formation of explosive atmospheres and ignition hazards. To incorporate these features, safety storage cabinets from Düperthal offer effective ventilation:

  • object extraction system
  • Interior cabinet ventilation
  • under bench floor extraction
Additional Information
 
On the Safe Side: Tips for the Correct Storage of Hazardous Substances

Exhaust air control is implemented by the new Smart Control with touch display, which provides a fill level monitor to prevent overfilling. When canisters are used to dispose of solvent waste, these should be made of conductive material, and it should be possible to equip them with sensors — float probes or capacitive sensors — for level monitoring.

Conductive canisters display their benefits especially when they are exchanged. In addition to level monitoring and extraction, optimal earthing is an important factor to prevent hazardous substances from igniting. Here the user should ensure that an integrated earthing concept is employed: conductive surfaces inside and outside, the connection of all electrically conductive metal components and potential connection at the rear wall or cabinet roof belong to such a concept.

Düperthal offers these features, for example, in the Disposal UTS ergo line and the Disposal Bench line as a certified system solution for handling a wide range of chemicals.

These examples show how important it is for operators to concern themselves with hazardous substance storage. Also with a view to sustainability. Because only a safe workplace in an ecologically and economically designed working environment is sustainable.

* The author is the editor-in-chief of our publication LABORPRAXIS.

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