One of the most important issues in any industry is to guarantee and ensure maximum safety in its facilities. This fact becomes even more important when it comes to the use and storage of chemical products.
Many of these chemicals can be abrasive, corrosive and can create serious injuries. Therefore, it is more than an obligation to be certain that we are handling and storing these products in the most efficient and safe way possible.
Thus, any company that stores chemical products must do so in accordance with the safety measures set out in what is known as the APQ Regulation.
Let’s take a closer look at what APQ is and what considerations it provides for chemical storage.
What is APQ
APQ is the acronym that corresponds to the concept of Storage of Chemical Products. It is therefore a term referring to the handling and storage of this type of hazardous products.
One of APQ’s most important considerations is its regulatory standards and guidelines that set the way forward for dealing with chemicals.
APQ Regulations. Royal Decree 656/2017
The Storage of Chemical Products (APQ) is regulated by Royal Decree 656/2017, which establishes the safety standards for facilities for the storage, loading, unloading and handling of hazardous chemicals in solid, liquid or gaseous state.
In a summarized way we can say that this regulation establishes the safety requirements for the storage of chemical products, taking into account a great variety of things, such as the design of the facilities and the distance between them, the design of the fire protection system, etc…
It also points out the technical project required to legalize the installations, as well as the control inspections and periodic revisions.
It is essential to comply with the regulations in order to avoid penalties, ranging from financial fines to temporary cessation of activity.
All this regardless of other civil liabilities that may arise in compensation for damages.
When the APQ Regulation applies
Based on this regulation, it is necessary to know under what circumstances it applies in order to take into account its necessary compliance.
In this sense, this regulation applies to all those chemical storage facilities subsequent to 2017.
Installations prior to this year are exempt from this new regulation, but it is advisable to adapt to it for a greater guarantee of safety.
It should also be borne in mind that these regulations apply to storage facilities; in the case of transport or temporary storage, the framework regulated by ADR/RID must be applied.
How to comply with the APQ Standard
As with any regulation, it is necessary to read and understand its entire legal framework and scope of application.
Within the regulation itself, it is possible to highlight some issues that serve as a guide to comply with APQ regulations:
- Obtaining data, information and relative safety data sheets for all products with emphasis on hazard statements, also called H-phrases.
- Verification of the scope of application of the Regulations for the Storage of Chemical Products (RAPQ).
- In the case of exceeding the RAPQ scope, it will be necessary to prepare a report on the storage project, describing the characteristics of the installation to comply with APQ and the ITC (it is advisable to follow the UNE 17001 standard).
- Maintenance and Self-Protection Plans must also be drawn up.
Logistic maintenance of the chemical warehouse
The logistics sector is linked to the storage and transportation of all types of products, including chemicals.
These logistics companies must have approved and certified facilities as required by APQ regulations.
They must also have all the quality and safety certifications. Goods must be stored according to their type and characteristics with the correct packaging and in separate areas.
Both packaging and handling must be carried out by qualified personnel and in accordance with the corresponding regulations.
Labeling of chemical products
Finally, it is important to comment on some considerations regarding the labeling of chemical products. One of the first key factors for the identification of chemicals is their correct labeling.
The entire chemical product classification procedure must be carried out by means of labels, in accordance with the classification, labeling and packaging of chemical products (CLP) regulation.
All chemical products must be properly labeled. The labels will provide information on their hazardous nature and the issues to be taken into account for their handling and maintenance.
Product labeling must be aligned with the correct classification and evaluation of products. To carry out this evaluation correctly, it is necessary to be guided by the description contained in Articles 18 and 19 of the ITC APQ 10.
The correct storage of chemical products is essential to guarantee the safety of the facilities and the health of the workers, a mandatory task.
Across Logistics, prepared for hazardous goods warehousing (APQ)
Our warehouses are equipped for all types of goods, whether flammable, corrosive or of any other particularity. Safety is our top priority; our infrastructures rigorously comply with current regulations.
Contact our specialists and explain your needs.