Guidance in this section deals only with amounts that can be safely stored in cabinets, chests and bins. The hazardous chemical properties of certain pesticides mean that extra measures have to be taken to store them safely. Check to see if you store any of the following:
Moisture-activated gassing compounds
People have died as a result of poor storage of these compounds at fixed stores and in transit. In particular, using water to fight a fire can present a significant danger to the emergency services. In your fixed store, provide a separate storage cabinet, which should be:
Made of metal or fire-resistant materials;
Located above the level of the store bunding and away from direct sunlight and sources of heat;
Provided with adequate stability, eg by bolting it to the wall; and
Marked ‘Gassing Compound – Do Not Use Water’.
During transport, reduce the risk of exposure if an accident happens by:
Storing gassing compounds in a separate vapour-proof container within the load space;
Providing some means of securing the container in the load space, eg a frame bolted to the structure in which the container can be strapped.
Pesticides marked ‘Oxidising Agent’ – such as sodium chlorate
When heated, oxidising agents give off large amounts of oxygen which can rapidly increase the spread of fire.
Large quantities need a completely separate store. However, up to 10 kg may be kept in your store if it is kept in a fire-resistant, dry container away from heat sources and other pesticides.
Safety measures in dispensing of pesticides
When mixing or dispensing liquid formulations, the user is particularly at risk of absorbing the pesticide through the skin. Some liquid formulations, the emulsifiable concentrates contain solvents.
These solvents make pesticides readily absorbable through the skin. Some liquid formulations are irritants that can cause rashes and cracking of the skin, further increasing the chance of the pesticide’s being absorbed into the body.
It is advisable to use personal protective equipment when dispensing liquid formulations, especially when mixing them.
Again, the pesticide label should be read carefully to determine what personal protective equipment (PPE) is needed. And keep in mind that once dry formulations have been mixed with water, their active ingredients can readily be absorbed through the skin.
Before dispensing pesticides, and after reading and understanding the label directions, the applicator should take the following precautions:
Have detergent or soap and an adequate supply of water available.
Learn the early symptoms of poisoning for the pesticide you’re using.
Learn the first aid procedures for the pesticide you’re using, and make certain that the right first aid supplies are close by.
Be certain that spill clean up materials are on hand
Make certain that all the equipment you’re working with are functioning properly. It’s a good idea to do a quick daily inspection. Develop and run through a written or at least mental inspection list of equipment.
Do not work alone. Be sure that help is available nearby in case you get into trouble.
Use all recommended protective clothing and equipment. Double-check that your respirator fits properly and that the kind of canister cartridge recommended on the product label is attached to it.
When working with pesticides, never eat, drink, smoke or go the bathroom without first washing your hands.
Never mix or transfer pesticides near a well or other water source. If you’re mixing pesticide in the field, do so at various locations. Over time, small quantities of pesticide spilled in one area, else pesticide spill may accumulate and cause serious contamination.
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