37 Chemical handling safety tips.
Chemical handling safety entails safely making use of chemicals. It involves applying Safety in transportation, storage, mixing, and application of the chemicals.
It is pertinent that chemical safety is given utmost consideration in the workplace and in other places where chemicals are in use.
Chemicals exist in many forms; solids, liquids and gases. It can change from one state to another depending on exposure to some elements or conditions like temperature and pressure.
During those changes, some chemicals can become more toxic or less toxic. That’s why it’s good to do an appropriate risk assessment of the various chemicals in use at the workplace and to put in measures that will control the hazardous effects of the chemicals.
However, not all chemicals are hazardous. Only those that present physical and health hazards are hazardous chemicals.
These hazardous chemicals go a long way to cause health hazards that can be carcinogenic, irritating, and sensitizing. Those that cause physical hazards are flammable, corrosive and explosive ones.
Hazardous chemicals pose a danger by the route of exposure in humans which can be through inhalation, injection, ingestion or absorption. The effects of those Hazardous chemicals on the human body can be acute or chronic. Some may result in cancer, fatal malformations, respiratory diseases, endocrine disorders, urinary disorders, and immune disorders.
Chemicals like paints, pesticides, thinners, degreasers, detergents, herbicides, benzene, cadmium, acids, LPG, mercury, diesel, gasoline, caustics, etc exist in our workplace. Adequate knowledge of chemical handling safety will aid in the safe use of these chemicals.
Below is the list of chemical handling safety tips to ensure that chemicals do not harm individuals during their use.
37 chemical handling safety tips.
- Follow the manufacturer’s manual and guidelines on the safe storage and handling of the chemical.
- Conduct adequate training on the use of chemicals in the workplace and ensure that all workers participate fully in it.
- All chemicals should have expiration dates. Ensure to keep their records.
- Keep all safety data sheets handy and accessible in the workplace. Train the workers on the document.
- Display the safety data sheet in all chemical storage rooms.
- Post all chemical compatibility charts in the chemical storage room.
- Put all chemicals that react with water away from the water location.
- Only authorized personnel should handle radioactive chemicals.
- Handle all chemicals with Personal protective equipment taking into account the nature and the type of chemical exposure.
- Label all chemical containers.
- Seal all chemical containers tightly.
- Construct safety showers (eye showers) in all chemical rooms.
- Use the eye shower in case of eye contact with chemicals. Rinse the eye for more than 15 minutes of exposure.
- Ventilate the chemical storage rooms.
- Restrict the entrance to the storage room except for authorized personnel only.
- Engage in the use of drip trays when necessary.
- Do not put all chemical waste in the same skip. Some chemicals can react with each other to cause damage.
37 chemical handling safety tips
- Neutralise reactive chemicals before disposing of them.
- Follow the safety procedure in the handling of chemicals.
- Remember to wash your hand after handling chemicals.
- Maintain Good personnel hygiene when you’re working with chemicals.
- Avoid storage of chemicals in direct sunlight. Some chemicals can react to heat.
- Do all you can to prevent chemical spills.
- Always clean up chemical spills when it happens.
- Avoid using compressed air to transfer chemicals.
- Do not use your mouth to suck or siphon chemicals.
- Move all acid canisters with protection.
- All electrical equipment in the chemical storage room must be of high-quality standards.
- Drain and flush all lines of equipment used for chemical activity before servicing them.
- Do not store incompatible chemicals together.
- Communicate these tips in a pictorial form and display them at the site.
- Avoid using plastic containers to store flammable chemicals.
- Avoid reusing empty chemical containers except if it is carefully cleaned and dried.
- Do not leave any chemical container unattended with the lid open.
- Do not leave chemical containers open. Endeavour to always cover them.
- Do not store combustible waste in a chemical storage area.
- Train all your workers in first aid emergencies in case of a chemical emergency.
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