On-farm Pesticide Storage

Colour photo of the inside of a farm chemical storage shed.This is a Guide and Checklist for the storage of Agricultural Pesticides and specifications to meet most current Quality Assurance requirements.

This guide is for what is classified as 'Minor Storage' according to the Australian Standard AS 2507 - 1998 and will satisfy most farms where the quantities and types of chemicals stored will meet that classification. Where quantities exceed 1000 kg or L combined there are additional specifications to be met and must comply with AS 2507 - 1998, the Dangerous Goods Act 1998 and Dangerous Goods (General) Regulations 1998. The minor storage limit for Class 4.3 dangerous goods (fumigants) is 10 kg or L combined. The store must be a dedicated shed or room and not be used for other than storage or measuring out pesticides.

Site Selection

The store must be located at least:
  • 15m from the property boundary
  • 10m from buildings occupied by people or livestock
  • 5m from watercourses, dams, drainage or sewage lines
  • 3m from stored flammable materials
  • well above maximum flood level.

The site should preferably be:

  • in an open area with low risk to wild-fires
  • located to have good air circulation and avoid temperature extremes
  • near to the tank mixing and filling area.

The site must have access to:

  • a clean and reliable water supply for tank filling and emergency use.

Structure/Construction

  • structurally sound to wind and weather especially good roof with no leaks
  • fire resistant structure and internal cladding is preferred
  • wall and roof insulation to moderate storage temperature is desirable
  • should have clear access and outward opening doors.

The floor

  • must be impermeable and preferably graded to aid collection of spills and wash down
  • must be graded or bounded to contain 25% of the total liquid in the store. Some QA schemes may require this to be 110% of the possible store contents. Check that doorways and service entry/exits do not compromise containment
  • a normally closed pipe feeding an external lime pit for dilute wash down is acceptable
  • should be clear of fixtures and items to aid a total clean up in the event of a spill
  • should be non slip for worker safety.

Ventilation

  • must be adequate to prevent build up of chemical vapours; both lower vents just above the bund and upper vents in the walls or roof are highly recommended.

Lighting

  • must be adequate to read labels in and to measure out chemicals; natural light is preferred.

Shelving

  • must be sturdy and made of non absorbent materials
  • located on the coolest side of store and away from direct sunlight, electrical and heat sources
  • must be sufficient to avoid stacking and allow ease of use.

Water supply

  • clean, reliable and capable of 15 minutes continuous flow to wash chemical off any part of the body.

Security

  • the store must be lockable and kept locked to prevent unauthorised entry
  • windows and vents must be designed to prevent entry by children or others
  • only authorised staff should have access to store keys.

Signage

  • at entry point: 'PESTICIDE STORE', 'AUTHORISED STAFF ONLY', 'NO SMOKING'
  • inside: 'NO SMOKING','SPILL KIT'
  • NB Hazchem placarding is not required for Minor storage.

Equipment and Information Located in Store

Spill kit

  • signposted and kept in store
needs to contain:
  • absorbent material for liquid spills (eg. 'kitty litter')
  • hydrated lime for neutralising some spills; organophosphates and carbamates
  • shovel and broom
  • heavy duty plastic bags and bins to contain contaminated material.

Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS)

  • must be obtained and held for all products in store
  • preferably held in store and sorted in a folder for ready reference to any product.

Pesticide inventory

  • must have a safe but readily available copy held away from store for emergency services, eg. in office
  • a second copy is suggested for the store
  • product ID and quantity updated at least every 3 months; easy to keep a running balance on the store copy.

Measurement equipment

  • scales and jugs appropriate and accurate to measure the quantities and volumes used
  • test weights to check scales and jug markings must be clear and readable.
Pesticide Stock Management
  • all products must be in original package with labels intact
  • only "registered" product should be kept in store. Only "approved" products may be a QA requirement
  • containers need to be kept closed to prevent accidental spillage
  • only open in well ventilated area
  • suggest arrange herbicides, insecticides and fungicides separately on shelving
  • should place powder or granular products above liquid products on shelving; a must for some QA schemes
  • segregation of some incompatible chemicals may be required; check warnings on labelling
  • empty containers/packaging awaiting safe disposal must be secure; allocate a separate storage zone in the store. For drumMUSTER requirements and availability, check with local councils, or visit the drumMUSTER website.

Equipment Located Outside but Near the Store


Colour image of rubber gloves to be used when handling chemicals

Personal protective equipment (PPE)

  • should be located near but must not be in the store
  • clean equipment should be kept separate from dirty awaiting cleaning or disposal
  • PPE should be appropriate to the chemical being used; refer to label and MSDS eg: overalls, waterproof pants and coat, gumboots, rubber gloves, respirator, goggles, face shield, PVC apron, hat

Fire equipment

  • dry powder extinguisher mounted near and outside store.

DISCLAIMER
The information in this publication is offered by the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment (DPIPWE) as a guide to farmers for on-farm storage of pesticides. Whilst all due care has been taken in compiling this information, DPIPWE, its officers and employees take no responsibility for any person relying on the information and disclaims all liability for any errors or omissions in the publication.

Further Information

For additional worker safety information, WorkCover Tasmania and WorkSafe Tasmania may be contacted on 1300 366 322.

Contact

Registrar of Chemical Products
Stuart Bowman
165 Westbury Road
PROSPECT TAS 7250
Phone: 03 6777 2133
Fax: 03 6343 2833
Email: Stuart.Bowman@dpipwe.tas.gov.au

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