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Pesticides can be hazardous and special consideration needs to be given to the storage and transport of them. Hazards include:
· Severe or fatal poisoning from ingestion of the pesticide.
· Varying toxic effects through the inhalation of the dusts, vapours, mists and aerosols.
· Varying toxic effects caused by absorption through the skin.
· Risk of sensitisation or dermatitis through skin contact with pesticide.
· Eye injuries should the pesticide be splashed into the eyes.
· Fire and explosion if the dusts, vapours or mists are flammable and are ignited.
· Fire and explosion caused by heat applied to pesticide container.
· Pollution of ponds, streams and rivers etc., damage to trees, crops and vegetation and harm to livestock, wild life, game especially birds, bees and fish, as well as to pets; children and other persons in the vicinity.
· Injury caused by slips, trips or falls due to ground and site conditions or tripping over objects.
· Muscular Skeletal Disorders caused by incorrect lifting techniques.
· Contact with moving vehicles during loading and unloading.
Only persons who have been trained or who are under supervised training should operate a pesticide store. Where over 200 kilograms (kg) or 200 litres (ltrs) of pesticide is stored a storekeeper requires training and certification (or a combination of kgs and ltrs totals 200). The industry recognised course is The Nominated Storekeeper Course provided by BASIS Registration Ltd.
The store must be purpose built;
· Suitably sited with adequate storage capacity;
· Soundly constructed of fire resistance materials (30 minute fire resistance);
· Capable of containing spillage and leakage (up to the total capacity plus 10% of the contents stored);
· Dry and frost free where necessary;
· Adequate lighting to enable product labels to be read clearly;
· Suitable ventilated;
· Suitably signed and secure against theft and vandalism;
· It is kept locked except when pesticides are being placed in or removed from the store;
· Equipped and organised to accommodate the intended contents;
· Maintained and kept clean and tidy;
· Is not within a staff room, office, human or animal food store or food processing area, a dwelling house or building adjoining and directly accessible from a dwelling house.
Mark the exterior of the store with the general danger warning. Put “No Smoking” or “Smoking and Naked Flames Forbidden” propitiatory signs on the exterior door of the store. Only products that have a COSHH Assessment may be stored. Products must be stored in their original container. A stock rotation programme must be used to ensure the oldest stock is used first.
Segregation of Flammable Products:
Pesticides labelled ‘FLAMMABLE’ (flash point 21-55°C) will be located separately in their own section of the store. Pesticides labelled ‘HIGHLY FLAMMABLE’ (flash point below 21°C) will be located in a store that is separated by a fire resisting cupboard or bin within the store.
For small quantities this can be a fire resisting cupboard or bin within the store. Large quantities should be located in a storeroom formed by suitably partitioning off the areas of the pesticide store to comply with the requirements contained in HSE Guidance.
Wherever pesticides that are flammable are stored, the area will be clearly marked to indicate the flammability of the pesticide using a sign conforming to BS5378 in accordance with the Health and Safety (Safety Signs and Signals) Regulations 1996.
Movement In and Out of Store
Records of the contents of the chemical store must be available and maintained. Material Safety Data Sheets and COSHH Assessments for the products must be available.
The movement of containers in and out of the store will require care, particularly if it is suspected that the container may have deteriorated or suffered damage. Before containers are moved a check should be made to ensure that they are not leaking and that closures are secure, with manufacturer’s labels and other information intact and legible. People must not eat, drink or smoke whilst they are handling pesticide containers.
If there is a risk of leakage, the contents of the damaged or faulty containers will, if possible, be transferred to a sound identical container which is clearly labelled giving the name of the pesticide, the appropriate hazard information and the precautions to be taken, otherwise the damaged or faulty container will be enclosed in a sound container, clearly marked. Where possible, original labels or labels similar to the original should be used. Any spilt liquids will be immediately contained, soaked up with an absorbent non-combustible material, e.g. sand, and disposed of safely.
Those who transfer the contents of one container to another or who deal with spillages must wear protective clothing; guidance will be available on the manufacturer’s label.
Storage of Empty Containers and Soiled Pesticide Waste
Empty pesticide containers will be triple rinsed and stored in a designated container to await disposal. Pounds for empty containers and solid pesticide waste will be sited under cover in a well ventilated building or inside a roofed, wire fenced structure secured against any entry by children and livestock.
Empty paper packages etc. will be placed in waterproof bags or wrappings and kept within the pound. Where this is not possible, these materials will be held in a separate area of the store set aside for that purpose and will be frequently removed and disposed of properly.
Never carry pesticides in the cabs of tractors, self-propelled sprayers or other vehicles. Use a vehicle with a floor-to-ceiling bulkhead between the driver/passenger compartment and the load compartment. Where the vehicle has no bulkhead, fit secure chemical containers or provide a secure cabinet mounted on the exterior of the vehicle or on a trailer. Check the load carrying area is free of projections which might damage containers. Mark the load carrying area with the general danger warning sign.
Where possible dilution of products should take place at base, as it avoids the alternative of transporting concentrated materials away from safe storage at base, or returning frequently to replenish tanks etc.
Before pesticides are transported, checks will be made to ensure that the containers are not leaking and that closures are secure with manufacturers' labels and other information intact and legible. Material Safety Data Sheets and COSHH Assessments for the products must be carried.
The contents of damaged or faulty containers will, if possible, be transferred to a sound identical container which is clearly labelled giving the name of the pesticide, the appropriate hazard information and the precautions to be taken, otherwise the damaged or faulty container will be enclosed in a sound container, clearly marked. Any spilt liquids will be immediately contained, soaked up with an absorbent non-combustible material, e.g. sand, and disposed of safely. Those who transfer the contents of one container to another or who deal with spillages must wear protective clothing. Contaminated material should be disposed of in the same manner as the product that caused the contamination.
When pesticide containers or other equipment used for carrying pesticides are loaded onto vehicles, care must be taken to prevent containers from falling or otherwise being damaged. Containers should be physically restrained and storage facilities fitted to the equipment utilised.
Paper or cardboard packaging must be protected from bad weather and labels safeguarded. Suitable PPE applicable to the pesticide(s) being transported must be carried. A spill kit must be carried (with sufficient capacity to deal the quantity being transported. A suitable fire extinguisher is also required.
Storage in vehicles or bowsers must be less than 24 hours. When away from the fixed store, pesticides should always be secure against unauthorised access. Park the mobile store away from any location where water pollution could occur. Try to work within sight of the mobile store - especially in areas where the public may have access. Lock the cabinet or vehicle when it is unattended.
Drivers of vehicles must be instructed to know how to deal with an emergency e.g. a trailer overturning, including where this could lead to contamination of water (bridges or tunnels, rather than fords, should be used where possible, to safeguard water).
If spillage does occur and there is the possibility of a risk to people, animals or the environment, prompt action must be taken to limit the effect of any spillage and to warn others, who may be affected, including the Environment Agency.
If a fire breaks out it will be necessary to alert the emergency services (police and fire brigade) and provide relevant information about the nature and quantity of the pesticide involved. Wherever possible, water should not be used to extinguish pesticide fires.
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