Precautionary Measures, Transportation Guidelines and Safety Regulations in Chemical Industry
In this blog, we will be discussing the various precautionary measures, transportation guidelines and safety measures that are prescribed by national and international authorities for regulating Chemical Industry.
Safety Regulations in Handling Chemicals in China
The legislative purpose of a range of national legislation or international efforts such as agreements, plans, or conventions is to regulate chemicals.
These worldwide efforts outline the policy of additional restrictions that will be applied locally, as well as exposure or emission limitations.
- On March 11, 2011, the State Council of China issued a revised version of the Regulations on the Safe Management of Hazardous Chemicals in China (Decree 591). The rule, which includes provisions for the manufacture, storage, import, use, sale, and transportation of hazardous chemicals, went into effect on December 1, 2011 and superseded the previous version published in 2002.
This legislation has 102 articles, numerous supporting measures, and several national standards. This law's implementation is being overseen by more than eight Chinese government agencies. It is the primary law in China that governs the use of existing chemicals. It is also the primary law governing GHS implementation in China.
- Presidential Decree 591 is China's most stringent chemical control law, regulating hazardous chemicals across the whole supply chain, from manufacturing and importation through distribution and storage, transit, and usage. It requires enterprises in China that handle hazardous chemicals to apply for operating licences called as “licence system” and to submit HazChem registrations to two ministries separately which is known to be “HazChem registration”. GHS is also implemented in China by Decree 591, which requires firms to furnish SDSs and labels made in compliance with applicable national standards.
- China MEP released the Measures for Environmental Administration of New Chemical Substances (MEP Order 7) in January 2010 and it went into effect on October 15, 2010. This law is comparable to EU REACH and is also referred to as "China REACH." MEE Order 12 was issued in 2020 to replace it.
- Chinese MEP Order 7 necessitates makers and importers of novel chemicals to inform China MEP and receive clearance before production or importation. A foreign exporter may employ a Chinese agent to submit notices on his or her behalf.
- The updated Measures for the Administration of Hazardous Chemicals Registration (SAWS Order 53) were released in July 2012 and went into effect on August 1, 2012. The rule is published in line with Decree 591, articles 66 and 67, and sets forth comprehensive requirements for HazChem registrations with the State Administration of Work Safety (SAWS).
- According to SAWS Order 53, domestic makers and importers must register hazardous chemicals with SAWS's National Registration Center of Chemicals (NRCC) prior to manufacturing or importation. In comparison to previous measures, it triggered additional importer requirements and needed more specific danger data from firms for registration, as well as a 24-hour emergency contact number.
- The trial Measures for Environmental Administration Registration of Hazardous Chemicals (MEP Order 22) was issued by China MEP in Oct 2012 and came into force on 1 March 2013. This regulation is the MEP's version of HazChem registration in China, and it is promulgated in line with Article 6 of Decree 591.
- China MEP released the trial Measures for Environmental Administration Registration of Hazardous Chemicals (MEP Order 22) in October 2012, and it went into effect on March 1, 2013. This regulation is the MEP's version of HazChem registration in China, and it is promulgated in line with Article 6 of Decree 591.
Finally, due to the immediate degree of risk created by incorrect product mishandling/packing, the United Nations (UN) Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods has developed three types of packaging for all dangerous and non-dangerous substances. These are some of the categories:
- X - Packing Group I: for chemicals with a high potential for causing harm.
- Y - Packing Group II: for chemicals with a medium hazard potential.
- Z - Packing Group III: for chemicals with a minimal risk of causing harm.
As a result of these groupings, the committee created a new (UN marking system) that gives information on the degree of quality each packaging unit possesses, as well as the type of chemicals due to their dangerous features.
Transportation Of Chemicals
Most chemical firms utilise trucks to transport their goods directly to their clients (including short and long hauls), to warehouse and terminal facilities, and for intermodal rail shipments. Another common application for truck transportation is the movement of containers from production or packing facilities to ports for export.
Moving chemicals from room to room or between buildings on the same site, such as a university campus or manufacturing site, is perhaps the more prevalent and normal kind of chemical transportation. Even if the odds of an accident seem remote over such small distances, additional care must be taken to avoid an accident.
The following are some best practises for on-site transportation of hazardous substances:
- When transporting chemicals on-site, always utilise secondary containment by placing bottles, jars, or other chemical containers on a tray or other carrier.
- Carry trays holding hazardous chemicals with suitable equipment, such as laboratory carts, rather than by hand.
- Bring a spill management kit with you when transporting hazardous products to ensure a quick reaction in the event of an accident.
- Never carry incompatible substances in the same container—you need to avoid undesired reactions in the case of a leak or spill.
- Never attempt to clean up a spill without assistance if you are unsure what to do, you feel it is unsafe, or you don’t know what materials have been spilled.
- Anyone participating in the on-site transportation of hazardous products should wear PPE appropriate for the substances being transported.
External chemical transport of hazardous compounds may provide a greater risk of larger-scale accidents than on-site chemical transport since the amounts of chemicals carried are sometimes significantly higher.
- Always carry an appropriate spill kit—especially it's crucial to utilise spill kits suited for the chemicals being transported.
- Hazmat kits are often used for corrosive acids, solvents, and other "hostile" chemicals. Universal spill kits are used to clean up spills that involve either water or hydrocarbon compounds. Oil-only kits are designed just for oil. To prevent the danger of a reaction during transport, ensure that mixed classes of hazardous chemicals are adequately segregated.
- Always secure hazardous substances on the vehicle or other means of transportation so that they cannot move or fall.
- Only use qualified and registered carriers to carry hazardous chemicals both domestically and internationally. Prior to carriage, acquire written evidence of competency from the transport firm.
- Always categorize chemicals according to their risks as specified by the UN so that suitable packaging for all commodities being carried may be selected.
- Aptly mark all packing with the required diamond-shaped transport hazard label.
Transporting hazardous materials can result in explosions, fires, poisonous leaks, radioactive spills, and inhalation of corrosive chemicals, all of which pose serious risks to people and the environment. Because of these risks, safe chemical transportation is important, whether the chemicals are being transferred between laboratories or across borders.
With a decade of experience of transporting chemicals across the globe, Camachem follows the international guidelines for transporting Chemicals around the world.
Packaging and Storage Guidelines for Chemicals
Packaging and storage conditions are critical to handling the dangerous chemicals appropriately and in accordance with the international laws. Many times, chemicals are poured straight into storage tanks, which might be above or below ground. Alternatively, they may be poured into tanks kept in warehouses or other facilities, where they will be utilized for production or until resold or redistributed.
However, proper storage and packaging guidelines must be ensured while handling the chemicals. Some of the storage and packaging include:
- Chemical drums, often known as barrels, are cylindrically shaped containers made of fibre, metals, or plastics. They are the most appealing items in the bulk container category, and they are recognised to be environmentally friendly due to their capacity to be or reused. Chemical barrels have a volume of approximately 200 litres and are used to hold nearly all chemical types.
- Intermediate Bulk Containers, also known as IBCs are customised containers that can carry up to 1,000 litres of liquid. These cube-shaped containers, which can be constructed of plastic, metal, or a mixture of the two, are widely used in the handling (storage) of hazardous chemicals – classes 3, 4, 5, and 9 – as well as other compounds such as edible liquids, lubricants, and essential oils.
- Jerry Cans are yet another safe and dependable medium for packing and transporting bulk liquids and chemicals. They are specifically constructed vessels that can store up to 20 litres (5 gallons) of fluids and exist in 2 varieties: steel metal (10 litres) and plastic (20 litres) (5 litres).
- When it comes to chemical transportation, ISO tank containers are being viewed as a less expensive, more sustainable, and ecologically friendly alternative to drums and IBCs.
- Flexi tank containers are typical 20-foot containers used to carry bulk non-hazardous liquids like culinary oils. In 2017, it is expected that around 800,000 flexi tank containers were carried. Flexi tank containers have become a viable option for shippers (transportation) because of their low cost.
Chemical Storage and Packaging
Environmental Threats and Guidelines for Harmful Chemicals
Day in day out, everyone is exposed to a complex combination of dozens of exogenous substances. Cancer, birth abnormalities, and infertility are all on the rise in industrial civilizations, and they are all connected, to various degrees and in part, to environmental exposures. The health of wildlife and ecosystems is also jeopardised by contamination.
Hazardous Chemicals causing harm to ecosystem
When chemicals are spilled, for example, out of containers, the threat becomes apparent. Among the many causes of a chemical leak are:
- Unsafe methods of chemical sampling and transfer
- mechanical damage to the container caused by bumping during transit, tilting over after being put on unstable ground or rack...
- filling expansion caused by vapour pressure build-up with heat, crystallisation at low temperatures, chemical breakdown with time or triggered by light exposure
- container ageing as a result of plastic becoming brittle over time or as a result of exposure to light or low temperatures, plastic softening through heat, metal corrosion, and interaction between the container and its contents
This chemical dispersion has the potential to have catastrophic effects. Intoxication can result from a spilled chemical, especially if it is volatile or a gas at room temperature. The risk of intoxication is especially vexing when the spilt chemical does not have any severe toxicological properties on its own but releases a toxic substance when it reacts with the environment or other chemicals stored in the same room, for example, gaseous chlorine forms when liquid bleach comes into contact with an acidic solution. Corrosive liquids, such as caustic soda, can cause irritations to severe chemical burns.
Aside from these acute symptoms, a variety of chronic consequences such as
- decreased organ function,
- and cancer can arise.
In contrast to acute effects, the development of chronic effects does not always depend on the degree of exposure: allergies, for example, might be induced by extremely low concentrations of a sensitising agent.
Health Risk Factors
Liquefied gases are a particular danger among all chemical types. Contact with liquid gases produces severe frostbites, and even if they are not poisonous, their fast expansion can locally reduce oxygen concentrations to dangerously low levels, resulting in hypoxia.
Aside from the health risks they pose to personnel, stored chemicals may pose risks to facilities, wildlife and flora, and the general public off-site. Some of the various environmental harms produced by chemicals are described here;
- Toxic chemicals that are discharged can irrevocably change soils, streams, and ground waters, impacting nearby populations. The type of environmental damage caused by a chemical spill is determined by its toxicological, physical, and chemical properties (form, reactivity, solubility, persistence, bioaccumulation, and so on) as well as those of the polluted site (permeation properties, and so on), but pollution risk increases with the amount of stored chemicals.
- Inadvertent fires or explosions can also occur when chemicals are stored in confined rooms. Fires and explosions are responsible for a small number of occupational accidents in the European Union each year, but when they do occur, they frequently take lives and have severe environmental and economic effects.
- An uncontrolled oxidation process between flammable materials and an oxidant results in hostile fire. Both components are frequently found in large quantities in a storage facility. The most common oxidant involved in a fire is oxygen, whereas stored products (organic compounds such as solvents or polymer pellets), packaging materials (plastic bags or containers), or pallets are combustible. A fire can be started by a variety of sources of energy, such as a spark or heat or even an explosion too.
- Unintentional explosions can be either "physical" or "chemical." When pressure builds up within a chemical container, for example, a physical explosion can occur. Chemical explosions are caused by chemical processes such as decomposition (the storage of explosive elements) or the creation of an explosive environment (storage of flammable chemicals, of oxidising metal dust, etc.). The chemical reaction is basically combustion in some circumstances. At critical content in the atmosphere, several dusts of flammable materials such as wheat and coal can cause an explosion.
Planning and Safety Requirement Guidelines for Chemicals
The establishment of a storage facility needs careful planning in order to avoid the hazards mentioned above. Among other things, the storage facility must prevent hazardous chemical exposure; and not create new hazards through its design.
Precautionary Planning and Guidelines
As a starting stage, the planner must gather all requirements including:
- Volumes to be kept, including, if required, the volume of chemical waste Furthermore, chemical waste must be treated like fresh chemicals but stored separately.
- Chemical variety in terms of shelf-life, storage circumstances, and compatibility;
- Organizational operations involving chemical sampling or transfer activities within the storage facility will necessitate a separate designated space with local exhaust and a particular spill containment system;
- Accessibility that includes reachability and number/dimensions/operation of apertures and access control counting access to hazardous or narcotic substances is restricted to properly trained and authorised personnel;
- Statutory criteria for the storage location and the stored items. When it comes to the storage of ecologically hazardous substances, for example, special national building requirements may apply.
In terms of legal requirements, chemical storage is governed by three legislative and regulatory frameworks:
- worker health and safety,
- public safety,
- and environmental protection.
Although the form of Member State law and regulations in various sectors may differ greatly, the goals are the same. In order to become acquainted with the legal provisions in effect locally, competent national authorities should be consulted.
Precautionary Planning and Guidelines
The IMO/ILO/UNECE Code of Practice for Packing of Cargo Transport Units provides further guidance for risky cargo handling.
- Section 10.3.2 reads, "Cargo Transport Units (CTUs) should be packed in such a way that incompatible hazardous or other products are segregated in line with the norms of all modes of transport." In certain cases, even items from the same class are incompatible and should not be packaged in the same unit, such as acids and alkalis from class 8."
- Section 10.3.5 adds, "Packages shall be handled and packaged in conformity with their marks (if any)."
The ADR European Agreement for the International Carriage of Hazardous Goods stresses the significance of selecting the proper packaging in its provisions on dangerous goods packaging.
- Section 220.127.116.11 says that "parts of packaging, particularly IBCs and big packaging, that come into direct contact with hazardous products:
- shall not be damaged or materially weakened by such dangerous items.
- should not have a harmful effect, such as catalysing a reaction or interacting with the dangerous products;
- shall not enable dangerous goods penetration that might pose a threat under normal transportation conditions.”
Packing Instruction 650 of the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations (IDGR) emphasises the significance of quality in any packing material. Regulations state that "packaging should be of excellent quality and robust enough to endure disturbances and loads usually faced during transportation, particularly trans-shipment across transport units and warehouses, as well as any removal from a pallet or overpack for further human and/or mechanical handling. Packaging must be designed and sealed to prevent any loss of contents due by typical transit circumstances, vibration, or changes in temperature, humidity, or pressure.”
Safe Behavioral Measures in Handling Harmful Chemicals
Behavioral measures that personnel in the chemical sector must follow should be incorporated in the operating instructions. Furthermore;
- Smoking is strictly forbidden in the storage area.
- Suitable notices requiring the use of personal protective equipment are displayed.
- No food, drinks, or stimulants are permitted in the storage room;
- Hand washing is required before breaks; and
- Entry to the storage area is restricted based on the characteristics of the chemicals stored.
- Operating manuals and guidelines must be accessible for storage and associated operations.
- Employees should be taught by the supervisors on the foundations of these operating directions.
Precautionary Planning and Guidelines
The following are the contents of operating instructions/manuals/guidelines and accompanying training:
- Hazardous chemical labelling.
- The dangers of working with dangerous substances.
- Technical, organisational, and personal safeguards, as well as norms for safe behaviour
- Guidelines for joint storage.
- Emergency protocols, including as what to do in the case of a leak or a fire.
- First-aid procedures.
- Waste product disposal Operating instructions for single compounds as well as groupings of substances with similar characteristics can be developed.
Other dangers associated with storage activities, such as the usage of forklifts, must also be addressed in the training guidelines;
- special risk warnings, such as fire and explosion, are displayed.
- ignition sources that could cause fires or explosions are avoided. Auxiliary materials and trash can also be useful ignition sources (for instance, oil-soaked rags).
- no containers or shipments are harmed, and no fire protection installations are destroyed or rendered inoperable.
Emergency Plan for Handling Chemicals
Under planning for Emergencies, each storage facility must have an emergency plan that clearly defines the sequence of actions to be performed in the event of a fire, accident, or product release / leakage.
Precautionary Planning and Guidelines
When storing chemicals with a high hazard potential, such as highly toxic and toxic chemicals (acutely toxic substances of category 1-3), carcinogenic, mutagenic, and reproductive toxic, as well as those that are flammable or oxidising, the following information should be included in the emergency plan:
- Detailed Information about fire alarms, safety equipment, emergency exits and escape routes, assembly point, and evacuation headcount.
- Actions must be done in a certain order.
- A phone list with the following numbers: emergency services, fire and police departments, hospitals, physicians, and the Toxicology Centre.
- Contact information for the plant manager, supervisor, and any personnel with operational responsibilities.
How are Chemicals Identified (What is CAS?)
Every chemical substance reported in the open scientific literature, including organic and inorganic compounds, minerals, isotopes, alloys, and nonstructurable materials, is assigned a CAS Registry Number by the Chemical Abstracts Service. For instance, toxic industrial chemicals are those that are created, stored, transported, and utilised all over the world. Toxic industrial chemicals can exist as a gas, liquid, or solid. They can be chemical dangers (for example, carcinogens, reproductive hazards, corrosives, or agents that damage the lungs or blood) or physical hazards (for example, flammable, combustible, explosive, or toxic substances).
Labeling Standards of Chemicals
In 2008 and 2009, China issued two major national guidelines for the labelling and packaging of chemical goods in accordance with GHS.
Precautionary Planning and Guidelines
On May 1, 2010, the first obligatory national labelling standard (GB 15258-2009) – “General guidelines for production of precautionary label for chemicals” – went into effect. This standard includes examples of warning labels, transport symbols, and precautionary remarks for several chemical categories. The changeover period lasts from 1 May 2010 until 1 May 2011. There are several distinctions between this criterion and the CLP regulation.
- A black frame of a pictogram is also acceptable (for domestic use);
- A simplified label is available for volume 0.1L;
- There is no minimum size requirement for a pictogram;
- There is no limit of 6 p-statements;
- The emergency number on the label must be a domestic 24h emergency telephone number.
The second obligatory national standard (GB 190-2009) - "Packaging Labels for Dangerous Goods" - is based on the 15th updated version of the UN Guidelines on Dangerous Goods Transport. This standard outlines the criteria for hazardous products pictograms, label size, colour, and packaging. This standard went into effect on May 1, 2010.
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