CODE OF PRACTICE FOR HANDLING AND STORAGE OF FERTILIZER AND FERTILIZER SUPPLEMENT
1.0 Warehouse for Storage of Fertilizer and Fertilizer Supplement
1.1 The warehouse for storage of fertilizer and fertilizer supplement shall be located in a clean and tidy site with arrangements provided for destruction and disposal of waste.
1.2 The warehouse shall be located away from areas liable to flooding and away from drinking water sources.
1.3 The site shall be free from rodent activity and will have a good drainage system
1.4 The construction of the warehouse shall be climatically suitable and damp-proof with structurally sound walls and roof that effectively keeps out rain, provides ventilation to allow fumes and heat to escape in case of fire and at the same time provide protection against direct sunlight. The doors shall also be sound, well fitting and secure. The windows and ventilators shall be in good repair and screened to prevent access by birds or rodents.
1.5 The internal walls of warehouse shall be structurally sound, non flammable type and with all piping and electrical wiring sealed.
1.6 Floors shall be made of concrete with a load bearing capacity sufficient to withstand the weight of the stock, racking and any mechanical handling equipment to be used. Floors shall be impervious to liquids, free from cracks and facilitate cleaning.
1.7 The building shall be designed to enable escape in case of emergency from any enclosed area and emergency exits shall be clearly marked.
1.8 The building shall permit reasonable movement of materials and enough space to allow hygienic working conditions and clear access to fire-fighting equipment
2.0 Storage of Fertilizer and Fertilizer Supplement
2.1 Care and attention shall be given to the characteristics of the fertilizer and fertilizer supplement to be stored in the warehouse that is, consideration shall be made as to whether the fertilizer is hygroscopic, cohesive, gives out volatile substances, explosive or none of these properties.
2.2 It shall therefore, be ensured that fertilizer and fertilizer supplement are stored on a clean floor and well- ventilated structures and in readily accessible space.
2.3 During rainy seasons or when the relative humidity is very high, the ventilators and doors of the warehouse where fertilizer and fertilizer supplement are stored shall be closed. Where possible, the stacks of hygroscopic fertilizers shall also be covered with polyethylene sheets.
2.4 All stocks in the warehouse shall be frequently inspected for leakages, caking of powders, pulverisation of granules, change in colour due to oxidation, dampness of packages and corrosion or deterioration of bags or bins.
2.5 Different fertilizers or fertilizer supplements shall be kept in separate stacks. Stock cards indicating the name of the fertilizer or fertilizer supplement, date of receipt, number of bags in the stack and other relevant information shall be tagged to each stack at a convenient height.
2.6 Storage for bulk fertilizer and fertilizer supplement shall employ facilities that ensure good ventilation.
2.7 For storage of large quantities of hygroscopic fertilizer and fertilizer supplement, storage structures with dehumidification facilities shall be ideal.
2.8 Bins or hoppers used for bulk storage shall be made of materials that resist the corrosive effect from fertilizers or fertilizer supplement.
2.8 Care shall be taken to ensure fertilizer and fertilizer supplement are not blown around the storage bin or hopper openings due to the effect of ventilation.
Care shall also be taken to ensure that bins or hoppers are not over filled resulting in spillages.
3.0 Handling of Fertilizer and Fertilizer Supplement
3.1 Bags received for storage shall be sorted out the damaged bags from the sound bags.
3.2 Storage warehouses, trucks or any vessels intended to handle fertilizer or fertilizer supplement shall be carefully cleaned before receiving fertilizers.
3.3 Oil, acids and other combustible materials shall be kept away from the fertilizers and fertilizer supplements. In places where fertilizers and fertilizer supplements are stored or handled, smoking and the use of fire or naked flames shall be avoided.
3.4 Due caution should be taken in using vehicles powered by petrol or diesel oil, particularly with regard to spillage of the fuel.
3.5 Bags handling fertilizers and fertilizer supplements shall neither be handled using cooks nor dropped from excessive heights.
3.6 Personnel working in the warehouse for storage of fertilizer and fertilizer supplements shall be given protective gears.
3.7 The personnel shall also be enlightened on the safety precautions in the warehouse and the necessary emergency action to be taken in case of fire.
3.8 The personnel shall be trained in proper handling of fertilizer and fertilizer supplement and safety procedures. The personnel shall also have a clear understanding of the operation’s emergency response plan in the event of an accident.