On September 11th 2010, DS No. 78 was published in the Official Gazette of the Ministry of Health which approves the Regulation for the Storage of Hazardous Substances.
Scope of Application
This Regulation will apply to the storage of hazardous substances. The term of hazardous substances refers to those substances identified as such by the NCh 382 Of. 2004.
The storage of hazardous waste already has its own regulation contained in the DS. No. 148 which was passed with the Regulation of Hazardous Waste Management, meaning that this new regulation is not applicable to hazardous waste, but only to substances. Neither does this Regulation apply to radioactive substances, liquid or gaseous combustibles used as energy resources, port premises, infectious substances with pathogenic agents or the work of the mining industry, with the exception of support facilities in an urban environment.
The Regulation will come into effect the 11th of March 2011 and in if major modifications are required in order to comply with the decree the deadlines to meet the new prescribed standards vary from 2 to 5 years. The deadline depends if the changes required are important, whether it requires the operation to change location, build new buildings, or if there are more than 2 branches that require modifications.
This Regulation is able to apply different regulations, depending on the quantity and types of stored substances, which is very positive, for it recognizes the diverse realities that exist at the moment of storing dangerous substances. It avoids from requiring smaller companies to make large investments for the storage of small quantities, and on the other hand, it avoids that the regulation of storage of large quantities of hazardous substances is too lax, which, in the case of an accident, could become an environmental calamity with grave consequences for the population.
This Regulation allows for a temporary storage zone for hazardous substances, under the condition that the substances are dispatched within the same day. This loading and unloading area must have a solid floor, be water resistant, and have a light roof protecting the stored substances from weather conditions, as well as, systems of manual spill control and fire-extinguishing.
Storage in Small Quantities
Companies that store less than 600 Kgs. or liters of hazardous substances are not required to have a warehouse for such substances, unless they are flammable gases, oxidizing substances, toxic gases o substances which, when in contact with water, disperse flammable gases.
The place where hazardous substances are stored must have manual systems of spill control system and fire-extinguishing. The stored substances must be properly indicated and the security date sheets must be available for whoever is managing the substances.
The containers with the capacity of 5 liters or Kgs., as well as glass containers must be stored in locked shelves or anti-roll bars with clear indication.
Storage of Medium Quantities
When the quantity of hazardous substances stored is up to 12 tons, it can be stored in an ordinary warehouse. The sector holding the hazardous substances must be clearly identified. The labels used will be in accordance with the Nch2190.
It is important to respect the distance between the substances that are incompatible, those that are hazardous and those that aren’t. A system must exist which contains local spills, avoiding the possibility of compromising the adjacent areas.
Outside of the warehouse, a written or electronic registry in Spanish must exist available to the working personnel, containing minimal information about the stored substances. Additionally, safety data sheets must be kept.
Storage of Large Quantities
A specialized warehouse is required when more than 12 tons of hazardous substances are being stored. These warehouses will require sanitary authorization, which will also apply to warehouses that hold flammables amassing up to 10 tons. In addition, both the temporary and permanent closure must be reported to the authorities. The same procedure applies when the warehouse is reopened. If the warehouse remains closed for a period longer than a year, the sanitary authorization will automatically expire.
This warehouse must have a closed perimeter, can only have a ground floor, cannot be subterranean and must have at least one emergency exit. The exit must open towards the exterior with anti-panic bars and must not lock. The warehouse must have a natural or implemented ventilation system, allowing the circulation of air. It must also have emergency showers and eyebaths.
A warehouse holding hazardous substances cannot be attached to cafeterias nor can it have offices in it.
These warehouses cannot be erected in the vicinity of houses, nurseries, playgrounds or any residential areas, as well as, any activity which does not correspond with the company’s line of work.
The warehouses must have a maintenance program with tasks performed quarterly, semi-annually and annually. Additionally, it must have written operation procedures available to all involved personnel.
An exterior registry, printed or digital, must be kept, showing which types of substances are being stored. Additionally, at the entrance of the warehouse safety data sheets and a blueprint of the warehouse must be kept, as well as other relevant information.
The personnel working in hazardous waste warehouses must receive appropriate training every three years which will be monitored in a registry.
An Emergency Plan must exist which shall be submitted to the local firefighter company. This plan must include, among other things:
· The layout of the facilities
· The layout of the warehouses holding hazardous substances
· The list of hazardous substances
· The chain of command
· The teams and elements available to confront the emergencies, their location and maintenance plans.
· Emergency procedures
· The maintenance of the Emergency Plan, with simulations every year, as well as periodical training and review, which shall be kept in an activity log book.
It will also be obligatory for the Director, or the emergency supervisor, to be continuously present in such procedures.
Special Rules for Storage
This regulation has special rules for the storage of hazardous substances in bulk, gas cylinders, liquid or solid flammables, oxidizing substances, organic peroxides and the storage of hazardous substances in commercial premises.