Pesticides - Best Practice Guides


Pesticide Storage

Key features of pesticide storage:


  • Convenient access for delivery and collection.
  • Away from ponds, watercourses, wells, boreholes and areas liable to flooding.
  • Separate from buildings, housing: hay, straw, fertiliser, fuel and other combustible materials

Easy to use

  • Easy access for the spray operator.
  • Good lighting so that labels can be read.
  • Comfortable shelf heights.
  • Readily accessible shelves.
  • Capacity large enough for peak requirements and for rinsed empty containers awaiting disposal.
  • Well ventilated.
  • Dry and frost free.
  • Containers and their labels protected from sunlight.

Secure and Safe

  • Capable of retaining spills and leaks i.e. bunded?
  • Lockable?
  • Marked with a warning sign?
  • Proof against theft and vandalism?
  • Made from fire resistant materials?
  • Safety equipment close at hand?
  • Lockable cabinets for gassing powders?


  • Set procedures in place for normal operations, emergencies, spills and disposal?
  • Trained and informed staff?
  • Emergency phone numbers on the wall? Regularly inspected (see below)?
  • Advice taken from experts - HSE, EA?
  • Safety equipment close at hand?
  • Lockable cabinets for gassing powders?

More detailed advice on good storage practice is contained in the HSE Guidance Note: Safe Storage of Pesticides on Farms and Holdings (AIS16)

Agrochemical store management:

Use this checklist to conduct an annual audit of your store and storage practice:

Stock check

  • Have you carried out an annual stock check?
  • Are the products still approved?
  • Are the products still relevant to the crops you grow?
  • Are the containers and their labels in good condition?
  • Have you identified products/batches for early use or disposal?
  • Have you told your staff of these arrangements?
  • Have you contacted the disposal contract (if necessary)?
  • Is an up-to-date stock list maintained in a separate location?

Store Management

  • Stock is rotated to ensure that the products are used on a first-in first-out basis?
  • Stock is arranged so that liquids are not stored above dry materials?
  • Areas for storing different product types (e.g. weedkillers, fungicides) are marked out?
  • Flammable products (e.g. fumigants) stored in a separate section?
  • Oxidising agents (e.g. sodium chlorate) are stored in a separate section away from flammables?
  • Stored products do not block doorways or drains?
  • Non-pesticides (e.g. fertilisers) are not stored in the same place?
  • Clear disposal arrangements for unwanted products, spilt material and empty containers are set-up?
  • Empty containers are thoroughly rinsed and held in a separate compound?
  • Store is clean and tidy?

Train and inform staff

  • Staff have been briefed on the normal procedures for using the store and record keeping?
  • Staff know the location of Safety Data Sheets?
  • Staff have been trained in Emergency Procedures and how to handle spills?
  • Guidance on the above is on display at a central point on the farm?
  • All disposal arrangements are followed?
  • The following equipment is close at hand?

Protective gloves








Face Shield






Inert absorbent material


This guide was produced by the Crop Protection Association. It is currently under review. Some of the advice herein may change with the introduction of new waste management regulations anticipated during 2005. 

April 2004

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