As much as it plays a key role in major sectors of the world economy including agriculture, industry, housing, transport, textiles, the health sector and the home, chemicals can be hazardous to human health and the environment as well, if not properly managed and handled.
Since chemicals can be as harmful and as beneficial to man, the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) held a one-day training workshop at the weekend on the best practice of chemical warehouse management for all commercial warehouse operators and chemical handlers in Lagos State in order for them to have the requisite knowledge for proper implementation of a good warehouse management system.
According to the Director General, NAFDAC, Dr. Paul Orhii, represented by the Deputy Director, Chemical Evaluation and Research, Mr. AkinwumiAdedeji, despite the benefits chemicals can provide, it can be corrosive, explosive, flammable, an irritant, oxidising and dangerous to human health if not properly handled and managed.
“The objective of the sound management of chemicals is to apply managerial best practices to chemicals throughout their life cycle to prevent, and, where this is not possible, to reduce or minimise the potential for exposure of people and the environment to toxic and dangerous chemicals,” he explained.
Therefore, he stated, this requires strengthened regulation and improved techniques and technologies in the production, use, storage and disposal of chemicals. Adding that a good dedicated chemical warehouse should be designed to safely and efficiently handle an array of hazardous materials; warehousing services include the storage and handling of corrosive, flammable and other hazardous chemicals at the warehouse.
With the countless numbers of incidences that have occurred over the years across the globe on how some companies unintentionally kept different chemicals together, thereby using the wrong property to produce drugs and other goods, NAFDAC invited several groups across Lagos markets to the workshop, where they were given the platform to express their opinions on chemical handling and their experiences.
Some of the benefits of good warehouse management system, NFDAC DG, said include increase inventory accuracy, minimisationof the number of moves per order, sustained quality and integrity of chemicals, increase customer satisfaction by improving accuracy and timeliness of orders, and reduced risk of accidents associated with chemical handling and storage.
Participants were sensitised on distribution and handling, good warehouse practices, warehouse management system, workplace health and safety laws, temperature and humidity control, equipment, personnel, sanitisation, premises and packing for transportation among others.
The participants at the event included chemical and gas dealers from companies in Ebute-Meta market, Ilasa market, Oshodi and the Mainland among others.
Dr.Orhii, further advised the dealers to, henceforth, ensure the highest safety by separating chemicals according to their specific properties.