Storage and Hazardous materials management: Products segregation and measures

by Jan 24, 2022Hazardous materials

In Quebec, any hazardous product handled, used or stored in the workplace is subject to regulations, including the sections of the Regulation respecting occupational health and safety (ROHS) in section X – Storage and handling of hazardous materials with the various security measures in addition to the pan-Canadian WHMIS 2015 system.

Hazardous materials (art. 70, RSST) are: “…dangerous products or those appearing in annex II of the regulations… and… which belong to one or other of the following categories: compressed gas, flammable and combustible materials, oxidizing materials, toxic materials, corrosive materials and dangerously reactive materials”.

Segregation, why?

The accidental association of incompatible products is a factor of major consequences such as fires, explosions, intoxications or exposures damaging to health. For example, on August 26, 1998, around 4:20 p.m., a worker in a residual hazardous materials transfer center, was fatally burned by an explosion when starting a forklift (ignition source) placed in a pit for mixing solid residual hazardous materials. impregnated with solvents (flammable vapors).

Taking into account the properties of dangerous products, it is very important to take into account the incompatibility between products in order to guide the first measures to eliminate risks at source. We are talking about segregation.

Indeed, the legislation favors first a segregation based on the dangers according to the chemical properties. Then, other arrangements are specified for dangerously reactive substances and substances liable to initiate a violent reaction (polymerization, decomposition or condensation under the effect of vibrations, light or sound waves), compressed cylinders (or in series) such as propane gas, oxidizing substances, flammable and combustible material. For particular product classes and other specific provisions, companies may take into account standards such as NFPA 30 (2018) which provides details in Chap – 9 to 25, on the storage of flammable and combustible liquids such as fuel oil, etc.

Summary of measures

For safe storage of hazardous products, the following steps are suggested:

  • Separate or isolate hazardous materials, taking into account general and specific conditions. The following table illustrates the requirements of the RSST
  • Keep containers, pipes and other devices in good condition
  • Clean up spills immediately and safely

The conditions of storage and handling of hazardous materials at your workplace should meet your specific needs without causing losses. You can consult our experts for suitable prevention measures!


CNESST, 1998. Accident investigation report: fatal accident which occurred on August 26, 1998 to a worker at the C.R.I. Environment inc. at Côteau-du-Lac. Online:

NFPA 30, 2018. Flammable and Combustible Liquids Code

RSST, 2019. Regulation respecting occupational health and safety

Questions or comments?

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Intervention Prévention œuvre dans le domaine de la sécurité au travail en offrant des services spécialisés répondant aux normes CSA Z462 – Sécurité électrique en milieu de travail, CSA Z460 – Maîtrise des énergies dangereuses : Cadenassage et autres méthodes, et CSA Z432 – Protection des machines. Nos domaines d’expertise sont donc reliés au cadenassage, à la sécurité électrique et à la sécurité machine. La satisfaction de nos clients est le gage de notre compétence


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