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How to keep your agricultural chemical storage in line with 2019 health and safety laws

Last Updated on October 4, 2023

In 2019, HSE and the UK Government are tightening legislation surrounding health and safety on farms. This is due to new figures showing that 33 deaths occurred on farms in the UK between 2017 and 2018, with some (if not all) being preventable by following proper health and safety measures. Furthermore, the research conducted by HSE shows that other types of workplaces vastly outperform farms when it comes to health and safety. Agricultural workplace deaths are a staggering 18 times higher than the national industry average.

With this in mind, it’s important to check that all aspects of your farm comply with the current laws, including your chemical storage.  Following these laws is vitally important to protect you, your employees and the public from death or injury. But also, if you are found to be in breach of the law, you could be liable for a hefty fine or even face the closure of your farm following inspections likely to take place this year.

The inspections, promised by the Government in 2018, will encompass all aspects of farming, from procedures to equipment. Chemical storage will be one of the items on the checklist, so it is up to you to ensure that your storage facilities meet the HSE and BASIS requirements.

There are many different types of chemicals used in conventional farming, including fertilisers, pesticides, herbicides and more. Accidents involving chemicals can range from a spillage which could leak into the environment or cause physical harm to workers, to a fire which could spread if not contained. Appropriate storage can help to prevent these situations.

Chemical storage containers for farmers

If you feel that your current method of chemical storage may be inadequate, now is the time to update your facilities. However, you don’t need to feel daunted at this prospect; correct chemical storage is easy to achieve and most spacial requirements can be met in one go
with converted shipping containers.

At Billie Box, we have many years’ experience converting shipping containers for use by agricultural businesses. Our converted containers meet the BASIS criteria for chemical stores and are available in a range of sizes to suit your needs.

Why choose a shipping container for chemical storage? Shipping containers are by nature sturdy and secure. With billions of pounds of goods transported in shipping containers around the world each year, integrity and security is a priority. Containers must be weatherproof and secure against thieves from the offset, making them ideal storage facilities for chemicals on a farm.

One of the main features of our converted containers, which ticks a vital box on the health and safety list, is the protection against leakages. Shipping containers come to us with wooden floors, which we then overlay or replace with steel as it is leak-proof. Depending on
the amount and nature of chemicals you need to store, we can use a steel checkerplate floor or a raised mesh floor with drainage sump for added protection against leakages. Steel bunds are fitted as standard during conversion, which stop chemicals leaking out of the entrance of the container up to 110% or 185% (depending on your capacity requirements).

Made with fire resistant materials, our chemical storage containers help to prevent against the spread of fire to your chemicals. In the event of a fire, contact with extremely flammable chemicals can be disastrous, and an event such as this could result in injury, death or loss of
property, stock or equipment. Our converted containers are constructed of corten steel and coated in marine paint, which expands the life of the steel and therefore helps retain its fire resistance.

As expected of any chemical storage facility, our containers feature suitable access and exits. In the event of a fire, leak or any other dangerous situation, it is important for any personnel to be able to evacuate the container easily, so we can provide access points
suitable to the number of workers dealing with chemicals on your farm. Likewise, in emergencies such as these, the container’s ventilation will prevent the build up and inhalation of chemical or smoke fumes.

While it is essential to ensure that all areas of your agricultural business are compliant with current health and safety laws, we hope that this blog post has given you some insight into the way chemicals should be stored in order to avoid accidents. If your chemical storage needs updating, visit this page to find out more information and see the size options available to you.

Call Jane or Matt today to see what Billie Box can do for you: T: 0800 121 7388