Safeguarding Safety: A Guide to the Storage of Dangerous Goods

Dangerous goods can harm your staff, physical assets, and workspace. This term refers to materials that are water-reactive, poisonous, oxidising, flammable, explosive, and spontaneously combustible. Paints, acids, gasoline, solvents, and insecticides are some of the most common examples.

Unsafe work environments involving these materials can result in serious or even deadly injuries to your employees as well as extensive damage to your property. So, whether you’re storing these materials in your warehouse or flying them overseas, here’s all you need to know about proper storage and keeping the environment safe.

Why Do We Store Hazardous Materials?

Dangerous goods storage

Hazardous materials present serious dangers to your company’s personnel and property. This is why it’s crucial to store them in a way that complies with safety regulations. If you don’t follow these regulations, you risk facing penalties and legal action, among other severe repercussions. The dangers of storing harmful materials incorrectly can include everything from environmental pollution and property destruction to injury of your employees.

To properly store substances that demand careful handling, you’ll need dangerous goods cabinets compliant with Australian standards. They securely store flammable liquids, corrosive chemicals, and other hazardous substances away from curious hands and protect them from external elements.

For instance, a flammable liquids storage cabinet is more than just a metal box; it’s a shield against the unpredictable nature of substances that could ignite with a simple spark. The reinforced walls and specialized ventilation of these DG storage cabinets keep these liquids in check and minimise the risk of fire. Corrosive substances, with their potential to eat through materials, find a secure haven in cabinets designed specifically for them. The robust construction and durable finish of these cabinets contain chemicals that can cause harm if mishandled.

How Do You Store Hazardous Goods?

Flammable liquids cabinet


Ensuring the safe storage of hazardous gases is a critical aspect of workplace safety. You need to use a specialized dangerous goods storage cabinet designed to meet Australian standards. These aren’t your run-of-the-mill storage units; they’re crafted with precision to contain leaks, resist fire, and ensure optimal ventilation. They don’t contain flammable materials in their construction and their doors open outwards. They have a natural ventilation system with a minimum of two vents. You should secure these units with bars and chains that will prevent them from toppling over.


These materials have a volatile nature, so you should store them in the right dangerous goods cabinets to minimise risks and ensure the well-being of everyone involved. Place them away from high-traffic areas and far from potential ignition sources. The containers need to be made of sturdy and durable materials that can weather a storm, creating a barrier between the explosive substance and the outside world. According to Australian standards, these containers must meet the following essential requirements:

  • Welded sheet metal structure made of aluminium or steel with a thickness of at least 1.1mm;
  • The inside of the cabinet needs to contain wood that’s firmly attached to the metal;
  • It should have a tight-fitting lid held in place by hinges, a steel hasp, and a staple;
  • It should be equipped with lifting handles and a lock;
  • Both the exterior and the interior need to be painted.

Combustible Liquids and Solids

A dangerous goods cabinet meant for flammable liquids is like a fortress designed to resist leaks and withstand the forces of potential combustion. These cabinets are constructed using sheet metal with two walls and a minimum of 40 mm air space between them. They have self-closing doors that latch at two or more places. The perforated shelves let fresh air circulate freely within the unit.

DG storage cabinets for flammable solids have a sturdy double-walled construction made of sheet steel and a minimum thickness of 0.75 mm. They have at least 40 millimetres between each wall. The cabinet’s doors are usually self-closing, tight fitting, and open easily if pressure builds inside the unit. To provide unrestricted airflow within the unit, all shelves are typically perforated.

Oxidising Agents

Cabinets for oxidizing agents need to be made of sheet steel with two walls and a minimum of 40 mm of air space between them. In case pressure builds up inside it, the self-closing, close-fitting doors should open automatically. It should have a minimum of 150 mm deep liquid-tight spill containment sump that can accommodate 25% of the cabinet’s total storage capacity.


Similarly, storage units for peroxides have a durable metal construction with a minimal thickness of 0.75mm. There must be a minimum of 40mm space between the two metal walls. The cabinet should feature close-fitting, self-closing doors that release when the internal pressure builds up. It should also include a 150 mm-deep, liquid-tight spill containment sump at its inner base.

Corrosive Substances

Cabinets for corrosive substances are made from robust materials and ensure that what’s inside stays contained, and the external environment remains safe. They should have self-closing doors that shut tightly and stay in place with at least two latches. They shouldn’t be able to open indoors or from within the unit. The cabinet’s base should also have a tight sump that can store a minimum of 25% of its total storage capacity.