According to OSHA, over 32 million workers work with chemical materials. Most of the time, these chemicals can pose a potential health and safety risk to these workers. Proper workplace chemical safety goes a long way in keeping workers safe from these possible risks…
Workplace Chemical Safety: Health Risks
Wear protective equipment
Many of these dangerous chemicals can cause serious burns or irritation if they come into contact with one’s skin. Plus, chemical fumes can also lead to problems if they’re inhaled. For these reasons, protective equipment is a huge part of workplace chemical safety.
Hazard suits can provide chemical protection for nearly the entire body. Gloves and foot coverings also help protect a worker’s hands and feet. Furthermore, face masks/shields and goggles are useful for protecting the mouth, lungs, and eyes. Using all of this equipment together can give you the most direct protection from chemicals.
Certain types of chemicals are highly flammable, or even explosive. Sometimes, all it takes is just enough heat to cause a reaction. That’s why proper storage is another key part of workplace chemical safety.
It’s always good to keep chemicals in their original containers with their warning labels on them. That way, you know which chemicals are which and how they should be stored. Furthermore, keep these chemicals away from sunlight, sparks, and heat to reduce the chance of a reaction. Also, be on the look out for any leaks as well, and move the chemicals to a new container if needed.
Have first-aid ready
Workplace chemical safety also means knowing what to do in case there is an accident. Eyewash stations are important for washing chemicals out of the eyes. You should know these stations by memory so you can get to them even when your vision isn’t great.
Additionally, first-aid kits can help if there is any chemical exposure on the skin. These kits can help treat burns and cover any cuts or other injuries. After these injuries are treated, it’s also important to clean up any spilled chemicals so no one else gets hurt.
Being safe around chemicals means taking the right steps to protect yourself. Protective equipment keeps your body safe, and proper storage keeps the chemicals stable. It always helps to work with your employer to make the workplace safer for everyone.