Chapter 21 STORAGE
In this chapter, I would like to look at the problems of storage - this
is indeed a part of the assessment process which is required for all employers
under Health & Safety Legislation.
Storage in Greenkeeping takes many different forms, each of which is
essential and has its own particular problems.
In the Clubhouse
- storage of cash
- storage of wines & spirits
- storage of food
- storage of paper documentation
First of all let us take an overview of storage
All stores need to be large enough to hold your peak requirements.
However, stock volumes should be kept low - only keep in stock the amount you
reckon is required for immediate use - the smaller the store, the easier it is
to maintain - the less the hazard, the less the risk. Bulk buying is not
necessarily cheap in the long run!!
If you store Petroleum spirit, and all of us do, you will have to have a
license from the local Trading Standards Office, if you hold over 20 litre in
stock. This only includes the petrol in cans, not the petrol in the tanks of
In the case of pesticide, fuel and fertiliser stores these should be at
least 4 metres away from anything which could be a fire risk - domestic
dwellings or sources of ignition - welding, etc.
The environment is very important and you must consider where any leaks
or contaminated fire-fighting water will drain and if that could be a problem.
- drinking water, nearby water courses, well bore holes or areas liable to
Basically all stores should be strong enough to withstand any weather or
knocks to which they are liable to be prone. They should resist fire for at
least 30 minutes - this will allow the fire brigade time to arrive and save the
rest of the building!
ORGANISING YOUR STORE
There are many questions which must be asked:
- who has access?
- how secure does the store have to be and how is access
- how do you get materials out of store and how do you get new stock
- is the storage so arranged that oldest stock is used first?
- is there a stock list and where is it kept?
- do you have a note of emergency telephone numbers ?
- what signs are required? It is essential that people know there are
flammable substances nearby or they may smoke near them!
- what arrangements are there for fire? - fire procedures, fire
extinguishers, fire assembly point.
- are the shelves strong enough not to buckle under the weight of the
materials in store, are they easily cleaned, do they have a lip at the front,
are they all under chest height?
- do you use pallets to keep stock off the floor?
- space in the store - are you needing access for a forklift - or more
importantly, do you use the front forks on a tractor as this requires a lot of
room to manoeuvre.
- is there enough light for you to read labels and see leaks
- is there frost protection? - many substances are made useless with
- is there direct sunlight - this can have an effect on plastics, both
of containers and equipment.
- is there water leaking from the walls or roof? - many packages are
not designed for damp conditions and equipment can rust.
- what do you do with empty containers
- are there arrangements for leaks & spillage? - sand / plastic bag
- there are particular concerns with pesticides and fertilisers - the store
should be able to retain 110% of the total quantity likely to be stored - if
all the containers leak, it should not go out of the store. Also consider if
water is to be used for fire fighting - bunding will have to hold this volume
The storage in the Clubhouse can bring its own particular problems:
- where is it kept?
- how large an amount is there at any one time?
- how easy is it for thieves to gain access ?
- how is it banked?
WINES & SPIRITS
- how is it controlled?
- how large an amount is in stock at any one time?
- how easy is it for thieves to gain access? - often lighting around
the clubhouse overnight is a good way of deterring intruders - the use of infra
red movement detectors to switch the lights on can be very useful.
STORAGE OF FOOD
- are cooked meats kept separate from raw meat?
- does the freezer have a thermometer and is the temperature always
below -18ºC ?
- does the refrigerator have a thermometer and is the temperature
always below 5ºC ?
- if food is kept hot prior to serving is it kept above 63ºC?
- is frozen food delivered in a chilled van at below -12ºC?
- is the dry-food store dry, cool, well-lit, ventilated, vermin proof
and kept clean & tidy?
- are cupboard and work-surfaces regularly cleaned?
- do those who handle food keep cuts & rashes covered with a blue
- are staff supplied with clean overalls daily?
- have staff been adequately trained in the use of food preparation
- have you attended a Food Hygiene Course?
- are your premises registered with the local environmental health
- is smoking banned from kitchen and other food preparation areas?
MOBILE STORE FOR CHEMICALS
The same considerations should be given to mobile stores - chemicals can
be carried in either of 3 ways:
- a floor to ceiling bulkhead between the driver/ passenger compartment
and the load compartment. The load compartment must be lockable if the vehicle
is to be left unattended.
- a secure vapour proof chemical container
- a secure cabinet mounted on the exterior of the vehicle or on a
It is as well to consider what can go wrong and make sure your
management of the store can cope - theft, leaks, spillage, bad practice, fire,
toxic chemicals, cash, electricity shutdown affecting freezers
So, on one of these dark days of February, when you are not doing
anything else constructive, look at all your storage, it could be the best days
work you have done all year!!