Storing chemicals in laboratories requires consideration of a number of health and safety factors. In general, lab workers should store chemicals in cabinets and on shelving provided for such storage. For instance, flammable liquids should be stored in a flammable liquids storage cabinet.

The following are general storage guidelines:

  • Do not store chemicals on top of high cabinets where they will be hard to see or reach.
  • Keep exits, passageways, areas under tables or benches, and emergency equipment free of stored materials.
  • Label all containers appropriately. The label must be legible and accurate.
  • Provide a definite storage place for each chemical and return the chemical to that location after each use.
  • Avoid storing chemicals on bench tops, except for those chemicals being used currently.
  • Avoid storing chemicals in laboratory fume hoods, except for the chemicals being used currently.
  • If a chemical does not require a ventilated cabinet, store it inside a closable cabinet or on a shelf that has a lip to prevent containers from sliding off in the event of a fire, serious accident, or earthquake.
  • Observe all precautions regarding the storage of incompatible chemicals.
  • Separate chemicals into compatible groups.

 Additional Resources

Flammable Liquids Storage Guidelines

Incompatible Chemicals

You may also be interested in…