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IBC Storage Locker

Last updated: March 9, 2019

What Does IBC Storage Locker Mean?

An intermediate bulk container (IBC) storage locker is a storage area for IBCs, often located outside of buildings or other occupied work sites.

IBCs are reusable, stackable containers that are used to transport and hold hazardous chemicals, including flammable chemicals. IBC lockers are, therefore, a type of hazardous materials (HAZMAT) storage that acts as secondary containment for the hazardous substance contained within the IBC.

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Safeopedia Explains IBC Storage Locker

IBC Lockers are designed to provide a number of protective functions, such as enhancing chemical security, resisting corrosion, and acting as a fire barrier. They are usually mounted above a sump, or spill collector, that is capable of collecting hundreds of liters of spilled chemical that can easily be removed by a simple sump pump. As they are built outdoor storage, they are capable of withstanding high wind speeds and other outdoor exposures.

Many lockers are fitted with a variety of active hazard controls, including environmental controls (e.g., air conditioners, heaters, ventilation) and fire suppression systems (sprinklers).

Unlike chemical storage buildings, they are not large enough to be entered by a worker—the IBC (or IBCs) takes up the majority of the interior space.


IBC storage lockers are used to meet a variety of obligations for safe chemical storage that are described by governments or to meet risk reduction obligations required by certain agreements, such as insurance plans.

Precautions for the safe storage of chemicals is legally mandated and described by the building codes, occupational safety agencies, and transportation departments of every developed country.

United Nations standards for IBCs and the chemical hazard classification system presented by the UN Global Harmonized System (GHS) create a global framework that links these individual jurisdictional requirements together.

In the United States, the National Fire Protection Agency’s NFPA 30 standard is part of building code regulations in most states, and is also used as part of OSHA and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s compliance framework. IBC lockers are frequently used to meet NFPA and other chemical storage standards used by occupational safety agencies to assess compliance in the event of a safety incident. As such, many lockers are sold with a guarantee that they meet the NFPA 30 standards as well as the requirements of other specific applicable standards.

Supplementing Less Secure IBCs

The use of IBC lockers is particularly important for instances where the IBC itself is not made out of particularly sturdy material. For instance, the NFPA has identified IBCs made with composite material as more prone to breach than IBCs made of metal or sturdy plastic, and thus requires additional protection for composite containers in order to reduce the risks associated with leaks and spills.



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