Storing hazardous substances

Published by:
Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO
Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO

Do you store hazardous substances? For example, there are residues or storage of working stock at or near the workplace, waste or storage of these substances in the warehouse. You must ensure that employees, the environment, and neighbours are safe from hazards. For example, explosion or fire hazard if a hazardous substance leaks or reacts if comes into contact with another hazardous substance.

What are hazardous substances?

Hazardous substances are substances that, even in small quantities, cause danger, damage, or serious harm to people, animals, and the environment. These substances have, for example, an ADR classification.

Permit for storing dangerous substances

If you store hazardous substances, you may need a permit or make a notification. You can check in the Omgevingsloket (in Dutch) whether you need a permit or if you must make a notification if you store hazardous substances. You can then use the Omgevingsloket to apply or notify.

Which rules apply to the storage of hazardous substances?

The rules that apply to the storage of hazardous substances aim to protect your employees and the surrounding area (the environment and local residents).

If you are going to store hazardous substances, you must comply with the rules of:

These rules cover, among others, safety regulations, soil protection, safety distances, fire safety, and the storage of hazardous substances.

Health and safety regulations for the storage of hazardous substances

If you store (packaged) hazardous substances in your business, you must comply with the PGS 15 guideline (in Dutch). This guideline contains rules on worker safety (in Dutch), fire safety and environmental safety. For example, you must:

  • store hazardous substances in special storage facilities
  • store certain ADR classes separately
  • store substances that can have a hazardous reaction with each other separately
  • have an internal emergency plan and health and safety facilities such as personal protective equipment, an emergency shower, and an eye wash facility.

Storing large quantities of hazardous substances

When you store large quantities of hazardous substances that could cause a major accident, you are a so-alled Seveso establishment (formerly Brzo business). If so, you must comply with the European Seveso III Directive.

You must also comply with the supplementary risk inventory & evaluation (ARIE) in the Working Conditions Decree (Arbobesluit). You record how you deal with safety risks. You must make an inventory of the measures you take, an evaluation of the risks, and a plan of action to reduce the risks. How you do this depends on the quantity and type of hazardous substances in your business.

Questions relating to this article?

Please contact the Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO