What to Look For When Purchasing a Dangerous Goods Cabinet

What to Look For When Purchasing a Dangerous Goods Cabinet

What to Look For When Purchasing a Dangerous Goods Cabinet

Posted on the 29th of Aug 2015 by admin

There are a lot of dangerous goods storage cabinets (DG cabinets) available in the market and it can often be quite overwhelming when determining what type of cabinet you should purchase for your laboratory. There is a range of considerations to take into account prior to purchasing. To assist you with your decision-making process, we’ve compiled a list of items that should be considered and will help to streamline your decision.

  • Compliance – First and foremost, you need to look for a cabinet that is fully compliant with Australian Standards, in particular AS1940-2004 which refers to the storage and handling of flammable and combustible liquids. Most suppliers should state quite clear whether the cabinet is compliant or not if they don’t then it may be worth a quick phone call to find out. Compliance is extremely important, not only does it prevent potential injuries to workers, but it also eliminates financial liability due to non-compliance.
  • Self-Closing Door/s – If the cabinet is compliant as mentioned above, then it will have self-closing doors. Nevertheless, it is still worth mentioning for educational purposes. AS 1940-2004 states that all cabinet doors shall be self-closing, close-fitting and held shut automatically by catches at two or more points. What this means is that the doors should close by themselves and latch shut automatically. However, if storing class 5.2 dangerous goods, doors are still required to close automatically but they cannot latch on close. This is due to class 5.2 chemicals needing an allowance for pressure to be released caused by accelerated decomposition.
  • Non-Metal Cabinets – If you have decided to purchase a non-metal (polyethylene) cabinet, it is important to ensure that the cabinet is 100% non-metal in construction. We have seen many of times cabinets with metal components that corrode overtime defeating the purpose of having a non-metal cabinet in the first place. Make sure it is 100% non-metal, this includes hinges, locks, screws etc.
  • Venting – Venting is not normally required on DG cabinets but is sometimes required as a risk control measure when the cabinet is located in enclosed areas where extremely toxic or corrosive substances are being held. It is usually the end users responsibility to install the ventilation ducting but in order to do this, the cabinet must have pre-fitted venting bungs. Some suppliers will charge extra to provide a cabinet with venting bungs whilst others include as standard. It is worth confirming if ventilation is something that may be required either now or anytime in the future and ensures the cabinet you purchase accommodates this. Westlab’s 4-IN-1 cabinets, for example, come standard with venting bungs allowing for venting immediately or in future if required.
  • Visual Component – Contrary to popular belief, there is no standard colours that a cabinet must adhere to. You will often see yellow for flammable, blue for corrosive etc. but you aren’t actually required to have specific colours for different types of dangerous goods. This gives you the flexibility to choose a cabinet that is more visually appealing and blends in well with your laboratory.
  • Delivery Charges – Cabinets are often expensive to ship, especially if you are in a remote area of Australia. To save on unexpected shipping charges, it is worth asking your potential supplier to include any delivery charges when you are obtaining a quote. This allows you to get a full cost upfront and helps when comparing suppliers. You may be getting a cabinet at an economical price from one supplier but an unexpected freight charge can skyrocket the total cost of the cabinet. It’s best to get all your costs upfront.

Hopefully, these considerations will drastically reduce the decision making process. Choosing the right cabinet will ensure it stands the test of time and saves you money in the long run.

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