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Environmental Law

Executive Order Nº 43. Regulation for the Storage of Hazardous Substances

On March 29th, 2016, Ex.Ord 43 from the Ministry of Health was published in the Official Gazette, which approves the Regulation for the Storage of Hazardous Substances. This new regulation came into force on September 26th, 2016, repealing Ex.Ord 78 from 2009 as of this date. In the event of having to modify the facilities to meet the requirements of the order, there is a 2-year term; whereas in the mining industry, which is a new element on the scope of this order, the term can be extended to five years.


The scope set by Ex.Ord 78 will be maintained, that is: it is applicable to the storage facilities of hazardous substances, the latter being understood as those defined in the Chilean Standard 382 of 2013. Radioactive substances, explosives, flammable liquids and gases, storage made in port units, infectious substances (class 6 division 2 of the Chilean Standard 382-2012), bulk solids in extraction industry works (if included, the substances stored in the support services or facilities of such works) and alcoholic beverages with more than 24% alcohol, are expressly excluded from the application of this Order.

Furthermore, under this regulation, the application of the following Official Chilean Standards are included: Nch Nº 2245:2015, regarding the Product Safety Data Sheet and Nch Nº 382:2013 regarding Hazardous Substances.

Health Authorization

The new regulation broadens the cases in which a health authorization is required for functioning, leaving the following cases subject to such authorization:

To obtain this health authorization a tree risk analysis of possible events is needed, that includes the main basic events of the consequences of such risks, including those middle and final stages.

Once the authorization is obtained, an obligation to make statements twice a year persists. This statement shall be made through an online page called Dasuspel. Likewise, the authority must be informed if there are modifications or if there is a temporal or permanent closure. When the closure is for a term longer than one year, the authorization shall expire.

Location and access

These facilities cannot be located on the following sites:

The access to these facilities must be controlled. There will a person in charge of supervising the entrance of people and machinery, and of keeping a record of the products that enter and exit the facilities. Likewise, there must be a site location plan of the company visible at the main entrance.

Common standards for the storage of hazardous substances

Regardless of the number of hazardous substances being stored, there are standards that all industries that store hazardous substances must comply with and they are as follows:

A record must be kept of the training of the personnel working in the warehouses of dangerous substances, which must be annual and must deal with:

a) Properties and hazards of the substances being stored and their safe handling

b) contents and proper use of the Safety Data Sheets

c) function and correct use of safety elements and equipment, including the consequences of incorrect operation

d) proper use of personal protective equipment and consequences of not using it, and

e) storage facility operating procedure.

A printed record must be implemented specifying the commercial and chemical name of the hazardous substances being stored, the storage capacity of the warehouse, the six-month average amount stored, the UN number and the hazard classification of the stored substances.

A sign will be placed in the porter’s lodge with the location of the sector where hazardous substances are stored and there must be a folder with a copy of the safety sheets of the hazardous substances stored.

Forms of Storage for Hazardous Substances

The regulation maintains the distinction between three ways of storing, in accordance with the amounts that are stored. There are special requirements for each one of them.

Storage of small amounts:

Hazardous substances can be stored in packages placed directly on the floor or on a smooth non-absorbing material (with some exceptions that are listed in the regulation), in facilities that are not intended as warehouses, when their total amount does not exceed 600 Kg or Liters.

Hazardous substances that are contained in containers less than 25 kgs / lts. and in glass containers they should be stored on shelves made of non-absorbent, smooth and washable material, with spill control and sufficient ventilation. In addition, the shelf must bear the labels of Nch2190.

Storage in common warehouses:

A total amount of 12 tons of hazardous substances can be stored in these warehouses. Special limitations are established for certain substances.

The storage area for dangerous substances must be clearly signed and marked and have pictograms that indicate the type of substances stored under NCh 2190, which identifies their risks. Incompatible substances should be kept at least 2.4 meters apart and hazardous and non-hazardous substances should be separated by at least 1.2 meters.

Storage in warehouses intended for hazardous substances:

When the hazardous substances exceed 12 tons they must be stored in special warehouses.

The warehouse must have an automatic fire detection system in accordance with NFPA 72 and an automatic fire extinguishing system in accordance with NCH 2095. In addition, the correct operation of these systems must be regularly checked.

The warehouse for hazardous substances must have a RF15 fire resistance of the perimeter walls of the warehouse and the doors must have at least 75% RF of the walls that contain them. This warehouse must have at least 2 escape doors in a different direction, one of the doors being the loading and unloading door. Inside there must be at least one sign indicating the prohibition of smoking.

In this case, an Emergency Plan must be implemented for hazardous substances facilities that includes at least a scale plan of the premises and the surroundings, plan of each hazardous substances storage facility, list of hazardous substances stored by facility, chain of command, emergency procedure, equipment to detect and analyze dangerous substances, systems and equipment to face emergencies, personal protective equipment and the maintenance of the operation of the emergency plan.

An Emergency Director and an Alternate Director must be appointed for the plant, and one of them must always be available at the plant.

Special storing rules for Hazardous Substances

The regulation contains special guidelines for some cases of storage, namely: storage of gases, flammable liquids in packages, flammable solids in packages, oxidizers and organic peroxides in packages, substances that must be stored in bulk, storage in containers and iso-tanks and the storage of hazardous substances in commercial stores.

Chemical incompatibilities matrix

The order provides a matrix for determining the incompatibilities between different hazardous substances for the purpose of storing them.

Staff training

The regulation is more demanding in matters of staff training. There is an obligation to train the personnel that works in these facilities at least once a year, while the former Ex.Ord.: 78 only required training every three years. The obligation of registering such training is maintained.

Picking, packing and production areas

New rules in relation to these matters were introduced. In this regard, when picking or packing takes place inside the warehouses, every security condition set forth by the regulation must be complied with. And also, the staff safety conditions set forth in Ex.Ord. 594 of the Health Department must be preserved.
Likewise, it has been set forth that, after picking, the packing of substances must be performed in a special area intended for that, where substances from other warehouses shall be forbidden.
Regarding the production areas, special regulations that specify the requirements for cases in which there is bulk storage in production or packing areas have been established.

Shower and eyewash systems

The obligation of having showers and emergency eye wash systems has been extended to common warehouses that store more than 6 tons of hazardous substances. Therefore, now both common warehouses with more than 6 tons and hazardous substances storages must have such system.

Fire detection and extinguishing system for hazardous substances

The obligation of having an examination program for the fire detection and extinguishing system in hazardous substances warehouses is added. The minimum frequency for these examinations varies from 3 months to 1 year, depending on the system used.

Labelling of hazardous substances

There are a special set of rules of how to label hazardous substances. However, these rules do not apply to pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, which have their one set of rules.

In case of imported hazardous substances, the importer is the one obliged to make sure these products comply with the labelling rules.

The information must be in Spanish and easy to read. The elements of the safety box containing the information must be highlighted from the background and must be arranged in a way that when the container is in its normal position, the information can be read horizontally.

Depending on the size of the hazardous substance’s container the size of the safety box, the pictogram for the hazard and the related information will vary.

GHS can be used for labelling products as long as the information is in Spanish and also signs established by NCh2190 are also used.

Last modified: 16/09/2021

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