It’s important to understand the risks of working with hazardous materials. Mishandling hazardous chemicals can lead to irritation, burns, and even death. By following these safety instructions, employees will remain safe.
Be sure to read the labels carefully
Reading chemical labels is important for a number of reasons. One of the greatest reasons to read is to find out how to respond to emergency situations. Reading chemical labels also mention the necessary safety equipment to use while handling the chemical. If the chemical is flammable, corrosive, or cancerous, the label will indicate those exposure risks.
Wear the proper protective gear
Once an employee reads the chemical label, wearing the required safety equipment is essential. This includes goggles, gloves, and hazmat suits. Every employee that comes in contact with hazardous materials should wear this gear. Whether each employee has their own equipment or share, be sure to keep the safety equipment clean. Otherwise, cross contamination can occur and lead to even greater emergencies. Be sure to replace equipment as necessary.
Make sure the environment is clean
In addition to keeping the safety equipment clean, it’s equally important to thoroughly sterilize every workspace surface. Make a routine of washing the area after coming in contact with each hazardous chemical. To be safe, it’s a good idea to clean the work area at least once per work shift and have spill kits on hand to drastically lower contamination risks.
Only use the chemicals for their intended purpose
Do not utilize a chemical for anything other than its specific purpose. For instance, cleaning solvent cannot be substituted for hand soap. Doing this can cause dangerous reactions. This is especially important for the safety of other employees. If the wrong chemicals are used to sterilize the workspace and they are unaware, they may mix chemicals and harm themselves without understanding how.
Safety is a key component of handling hazardous materials at work. Remember to pay close attention to chemical label instructions, wear proper protective equipment, thoroughly clean work areas, and only use each chemical for its intended purpose. If necessary, be sure to seek hazardous chemical training. Companies like High Q specialize in affordable employee training programs. Employees learn everything from packaging, regulations, and general awareness training.
Taking advantage of these programs can be the difference between being healthy, suffering a major injury, and death. Invest in employee well-being and learn how to properly handle hazardous materials in the workplace.
Emma is a freelance writer based out of Boston, MA. She writes most often on health and education. When not writing, she enjoys reading and watching film noir. Say hi on Twitter @EmmaSturgis2