British Standards Relevant to Agriculture

British Standard Summaries

BS5502: Part 81: 1989
Building and Structures for Agriculture
Code of Practice for Design and Construction of Chemical Stores

The text herein is not a a full reproduction of the British Standard. It is summary based upon interpretation of the original text and not intended as a replacement for the full text. It should be used for general guidance only.

BS5502 is sub-divided into a number of individual standards. These can be broadly broken down as follows:

  • Part 0: Introduction
  • Parts 10 - 19: Reference information
  • Parts 20 - 39: General designs
  • Parts 40 - 59: Livestock buildings
  • Parts 60 - 79: Crop buildings
  • Parts 80 - 99: Ancillary buildings

This Standard aims to give recommendations for the siting, construction, environmental and safety aspects for chemical stores on agricultural and horticultural premises. This Standard is not applicable to those buildings which store chemicals in commercial quantities (in excess of 1000 litres or equivalent kilograms). Neither is it applicable to the storage of veterinary medicines, fertilisers, fuels or other flammable materials or explosives. For full details see BSI standard. The following text outlines the salient points:


  • The storage of dangerous materials such as sodium chlorate, flammable materials and pesticides are subject to special stringent requirements.
  • Chemical stores should be used only for the storage of chemicals and, where possible, should be isolated from other buildings.
  • When siting avoid building close to overhead power lines, houses, offices, farm shops, workshops, food processing areas, livestock buildings, stores, and flammable materials.
  • Chemical stores should be sited away from public roads and footpaths but should allow access for emergency vehicles (fire, ambulance etc.).
  • Chemical stores must be sited away from watercourses, ponds, ditches, wells and boreholes.

Design & construction

  • Adhere to recommendations for design and construction given in BS5502 Part 22.
  • Adhere to fire precautions given in BS5502 Section 1.3.
  • The store should be of adequate size, dry, frost free, secure, ventilated and fitted with suitable shelving.
  • Empty chemical containers should be kept separate in a lockable and well ventilated area until properly disposed of.
  • Shelves for oxidising agents should not be made of wood.
  • Floors must be washable and slip resistant.
  • Spilled materials must be containable via a slope fall for spills to collect.
  • Walls must be impervious to liquids.
  • Roof must be of a non-combustible material.
  • Doors must open outwards and be sufficiently wide to allow safe handling of chemicals.
  • Doors must be fire resistant and have suitable security.
  • Doors should be self-closing.
  • A washroom should be situated close to the chemical store. It should have hot and cold running water, a washbasin, a shower or tank for full immersion, eye dousing equipment and other first aid facilities.
  • Stores must be well illuminated.
  • Proper warning and safety notices must be displayed in accordance with BS5378.

A British Standard nor this summary does not, necessarily, include all the necessary information for correct implementation of the Standard to any specific application. This is purely the responsibility of the user. Standards are updated by either amendment or revision. Users should ensure that they are using the latest version.

The full text of this Standard can be obtained from the British Standard Institution

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