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What is an ADR warehouse? How to store ADR goods safely?

These two questions in the title above are inextricably linked. Why? We will try to answer this in a few paragraphs below.

ADR warehouse

The term „ADR warehouse”; itself is a term used by practitioners and has no source in theory or in any legal act. Those who would like to find such a definition or a single, exhaustive legal act regulating the storage of dangerous goods will be disappointed, and potential investors must be patient and have a good understanding of the subject, because it is not easy.

ADR warehouse is simply a warehouse where goods considered dangerous are stored. (ADR is an abbreviation, derived from French, from the Convention on the Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road).

To talk about the storage of dangerous goods in a warehouse, we have to face two problems:

  • construction of an appropriate (safe) warehouse,
  • safe organisation of work and internal Logistics

Safety must be treated very broadly, and therefore as the safety of people and the environment. „Secure warehouse” is a warehouse built, of course, in accordance with the current building regulations and „fire” regulations. Until then, this is no different from the construction of a warehouse intended for neutral goods storage. It is only worse still. . . .

Legal aspects of ADR warehouse

Next, we have to look at the issues of construction from the point of view of specific goods and their properties (contained in safety data sheets, MSDSs), which we intend to store.

For example, for hazardous materials of class 1 („ADR Convention”;), many different additional conditions and requirements should be taken into account, as provided for in the provisions of the Act of 21 June 2002 on explosives for civil use and the Regulation of the Minister of Economy of 27 October 2010 on storage facilities and facilities for storing explosives.

The two legal acts referred to above approach the issue of the distance of buildings storing hazardous materials from other buildings and facilities, roads, etc. much more strictly. In the course of designing, it may turn out that having a specific area at our disposal, we will not be able to implement our investment plans on the rock originally planned due to the fact that we will be able to maintain much longer distances, the possible reduction of which may take place e. g. through the construction of embankments or additional walls/partition walls.

The legislation also lays down additional requirements for internal infrastructure. Forklift trucks must be electrically powered, the floor in the warehouse must discharge electrical charges, for some classes of materials it will be necessary to install additional emergency exhaust ventilation or electrical installations and lighting in accordance with ATEX standards (for explosive atmospheres).

Safe storage seems to be much more complicated from the regulatory point of view than the construction of a suitable facility itself.

In addition to the many additional requirements provided by the standards for explosives or ADR conventions (which exclude simultaneous storage of certain groups of materials), specific health and safety regulations apply. Additional conditions include: detailed access control, verification of employees in contact with hazardous materials, etc. Everything is getting complicated where the quantities to be stored exceed certain thresholds laid down in subsequent detailed rules.

The current regulations provide for two thresholds for specific groups of materials (classification different from that used in ADR in road transport), the crossing of which (for the whole area belonging to the investor, geodetic criterion of one plant), obliges the storage company to obtain special statuses:

  • ZZR – Lower-tier establishment, and
  • ZDR- a high-risk company.

In both cases, the decision to grant this status after the painstaking the fire brigade units and the Provincial Inspectorate for Environmental Protection undertake a long-term analysis of documentation and a solid audit.

Let us remember that already at the beginning of construction we must obtain an environmental decision in which we determine the potential impact on the environment. Warehouse base only after exceeding 5000m2 from the machine is considered to be potentially incoming. In each case, however, the mayor of the commune shall consult the Regional Directorate for Environmental Protection. Status itself and the documentation is very closely related to specific groups of goods, so the change in the documentation is related to the updating of the documentation. For logistics companies this is a real administrative horror.

It is also important to remember about shortened inspection intervals of equipment, any installations, etc. and equipment in connection with the storage of hazardous materials. And as if all this wasn’t enough, at the very end additional conditions can be imposed by the insurer. A short list of companies that have such a status proves how difficult it is to do business. ADR storage is nothing more than „gold for eagles”. The above considerations about the ADR warehouse and related safety with the storage of dangerous goods are just an introduction to much more detailed publications on this issue.


Tags: ADR warehouse, dangerous goods, safe storage

06 September 2017|