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The importance of working safely with or near pesticides cannot be over emphasized. Always read the label and follow the directions. Always follow all of the safety instructions. Many incidents occur when pesticides are being mixed or prepared for use.
NOTE: The term "pesticide" describes a very large and diverse group of chemicals or products. It is very important to always get specific information about the exact product you are using.
For more information, other OSH Answers documents in this series include:
Each pesticide will have specific storage instructions. Remember that many pesticides may contain ingredients ("inert" ingredients) that will have their own hazards.
This checklist is one that you can modify for your specific needs and the exact pesticides you work with.
|In general |
Before you purchase pesticides, be sure that you know exactly what pest you wish to control, and that you have bought the right product for the job. The best way to store pesticides is to not have to store it at all. Only buy the amount you need for that application or for the season.
|Read the pesticide label and SDS and follow all storage instructions. Be sure that people, especially children, cannot accidentally access the pesticides.|
|Storage areas should: (cabinet, room, or shed that is used only to store pesticides)|
|have warning signs posted on the outside of all walls and on the door.|
|be dry and well ventilated.|
|be temperature controlled (pesticides should not freeze nor be exposed to extreme heat).|
|have a smooth cement floor (no cracks or crevices or floor drains) with curbs and be painted with a hard sealer to help make clean-up easier.|
|be made of fire-resistant materials. "Dry-wall" interiors are preferable to wood panelling.|
|have shelves made of materials that do not absorb pesticides (e.g., metal).|
|be located away from areas where flooding may occur.|
|be located away from areas where the soil is highly permeable.|
|Store the pesticide in its original container. Protect the labels so they remain readable.|
|Tightly seal all containers. Partially empty paper containers should be sealed with tape or staples.|
|Be sure the containers have no leaks, tears, or defects (e.g., loose lids). Examine containers occasionally for leaks or tears.|
|Store pesticides upright and off the floor.|
|Store flammable and combustible materials in a separate section, away from heating systems and any possible source of flame.|
|Store empty containers and material that has a leak or spilt in the container inside a "waste bin" in the storage building until final disposal.|
|Dispose of empty containers, or expired or surplus pesticides according to the directions on the label.|
|Keep the amount of pesticide stock in storage to a minimum.|
|Take out only the amount of pesticide needed for that day. At the end of day, return unused pesticide and empty containers to the storage building.|
|Store large quantities of herbicides in a separate building or area from other pesticides. Many herbicides are volatile (evaporate rapidly) and can contaminate other pesticides.|
|Keep an inventory of the quantity, type and age of the pesticides in storage. Keep this list up-to-date, readily available, and away from the storage site.|
|Keep SDSs, technical bulletins, product labels and other information up-to-date and readily available. Do not keep these records in the storage area itself.|
|Store your personal protective clothing and equipment in a separate, clean area (outside the shed or room).|
|Keep a first aid kit and spill clean-up equipment located outside or near the storage area.|
|Have fire extinguishers, eyewash stations and other appropriate emergency equipment nearby. Keep access clear to this equipment and test it regularly (at least annually).|
|Post emergency phone numbers nearby.|
|Keep emergency response equipment near but not in the storage facility.|
|Do not store near food, utensils, animal feed, seeds or water.|
|If you must put the pesticide in a new container, do not transfer to cups, bowls or other containers that may be confused for food, drink, feed or medicine containers. Label the new container clearly.|
(Adapted from: WorkSafe Alberta - Using pesticides safely)