Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland
When you are planning chemical storage areas, you should carefully consider how you store, handle and take delivery of chemicals at your site.
When you receive any chemical it may be supplied with a safety data sheet (SDS). The SDS contains information about the chemical, including how to store, use and dispose of it safely. The SDS may also recommend the best methods and materials to use for cleaning up a spill. If you receive a chemical without an SDS, contact your supplier to find out whether or not they have to provide one.
For more information about SDSs, see the page in this guide on chemical labelling and information.
If you store hazardous chemicals you must comply with the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations to protect the health of your staff. Check the SDS to see if the substances you use are hazardous.
The Health and Safety Executive Northern Ireland (HSENI) and Healthy Working Lives in Scotland have produced guidance on the COSHH Regulations.
Locate your storage areas to minimise the risks of damage to the environment, and the health and safety of your employees and the public. Ensure that your storage area is located so if chemicals leak or spill, you will not pollute air, land, surface waters or groundwater.
Make sure your storage area is:
You should store chemicals safely to protect groundwater. It is important to remember that groundwater may be used for drinking water supplies. To find out if you are in an area where groundwater is particularly vulnerable, you should contact your environmental regulator.
Delivery and handling of chemicals on your site can cause pollution. For example, forklifts can damage chemical containers and chemical bottles may break and leak.
It is good practice to follow the pollution prevention guidelines (PPGs) to help you avoid causing pollution.
You can use the NetRegs e-learning tools to get a good overview of key issues. These tools are free to use and cover the essential points of each topic. They might be useful as a refresher course, or to make sure that staff have a good understanding of their environmental responsibilities.
All are available at: NetRegs e-learning tools
The Northern Ireland Environment Agency has published a short guide to the duty of care responsibilities including advice and information for waste producers, carriers and those accepting, storing and treating waste.
Any person intending to alter the use or management of areas of uncultivated or semi-natural land must obtain prior approval from the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA).
Read more on the DAERA website
The NetRegs team at SEPA, in partnership with The Northern Ireland Environment Agency, Natural Resources Wales and a number of industry bodies have produced 9 new GPPs to replace out of date PPGs. More are coming! Check the available topics
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