Chemicals are some of the most hazardous items in workplaces. Accidents involving chemicals can have devastating effects on the workers, their families, and your workplace. The accident might lead to possible injuries that can cause loss of life, ability to work, or medical care costs. It is thus appropriate that you provide proper chemical safety procedures.
Here are some of the ways to ensure chemical safety at your workplace.
Understand the chemicals you are using.
The most important way to keep safe when dealing with chemicals is to understand whatever you are working with. Anytime a supplier provides a chemical, ask for the Safety Data Sheet (SDS). From the SDS, you will review the chemical properties and possible hazards when handling it. With the information about the chemical, you can find the appropriate protective equipment or clothing. You will also design the workplace to accommodate it.
Invest in proper staff training
The other step towards ensuring onsite chemical safety is ensuring everyone dealing in the chemical has sufficient knowledge. Invest in regular training for the employees on the hazard communication standards. With the knowledge, those using the chemical will understand how best to use them. They will also know the best action in case of a hazard to limit the damage.
Proper maintenance of chemical equipment
The condition of the chemical equipment determines the onsite safety. Keep all the equipment clean at all times, both before and after use. Ensure they are in ready-to-use mode at all times. Perform regular maintenance checks to ensure the equipment is working properly. Repair or replace damaged parts immediately you notice them. It would help if you considered investing in predictive maintenance systems when you use for your chemicals. It helps avoid downtime or hazards when the equipment fails.
Provide the correct PPE
Personal protection is essential when dealing with various chemicals. Once you understand the chemicals you are using, you can look for the relevant personal protective equipment (PPE). The PPE you work with depends on the possible hazards. For example, you need face masks and air-supplied hoods for respiratory protection. However, for skin protection, you need rubber boots and chemical-resistant gloves. For effective PPE use, include personal hygiene practices like washing hands after handling chemicals.
Store chemicals safely
Most chemicals are likely to react when in contact with other substances. Thus, you find the right storage point to avoid reactions leading to explosions, toxic gas clouds, and fires. Store all onsite chemicals safely in line with the manufacturer’s regulations. Keep the chemicals in the right place, away from any incompatible substance. Keep the chemicals away from food to avoid contamination. Clearly label all the chemicals when in storage to avoid accidental misuse. Also, keep the storage visible and avoid any heat-generating activity near the storage.
The company and the employee’s safety matter most when working with chemicals. Given the hazardous nature of most chemicals, you have to stay informed of the chemical safety best practices. Only work with a chemical you understand its properties. Also, invest in proper protection, storage, and regular employee training. While these might seem costly, they are worth the safety.