Lower your impact

Reducing risk

Prevent pollution and minimise risk by...

Improving management

  • Keeping up-to-date and accurate records.
  • Regular maintenance programs.

Assessing chemical use

  • Substituting toxic materials with non-toxic materials where possible.
  • Insist on a material safety data sheet (MSDS) from suppliers before accepting trial samples of new chemicals. This will explain the safety and environmental measures that are required to store and use the new product properly.


  • Train staff to handle materials as directed by the information on the material safety data sheet (MSDS).
  • Ensure staff know who to contact if they encounter an environmental problem beyond their capability.
  • Provide adequate training to employees in all aspects of their roles including environmental management skills and obligations.

Using correct storage techniques

  • Ensure lighting is adequate to avoid accumulation of mess and to allow fault detection.
  • Store materials where a spill cannot contaminate the soil.
  • Store liquids indoors or undercover, on a sealed surface and within a bunded area.
  • Store oils and chemicals in closed containers.
  • Maintain stock levels of raw materials and wastes below one month's production needs.
  • Keep a list of all chemicals stored, together with their material safety data sheets (MSDS).
  • Ensure chemicals cannot react with others stored nearby. For example, acids should not be stored beside alkalis as they can react together violently.
  • Include planning for fire and other emergencies when planning storage locations.

Correct handling and disposal techniques

  • Make sure you know where every type of waste should go – talk to your waste contractor, neighbouring companies or contact EPA if you are unsure of your environmental responsibilities.
  • Develop a management or removal plan for any asbestos or polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) that maybe in the structure or equipment of your factory.
  • Dispose of materials using a reputable and correctly licensed contractor.
  • Ensure unwanted substances are disposed of promptly, in accordance with EPA guidelines.
  • Organise a specialist contractor to remove old/suspect stock.
  • Develop handling methods for chemicals that minimise potential for spillage.
  • Ensure that all staff have an appropriate level of induction and operational skills training to fulfil their duties safely and efficiently.

By identifying the risks in your business due to the storage of oils, fuels and chemicals, the potential costs and chance of air, water or soil pollution can be reduced.

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Page last updated on 5 Mar 2019