Thursday, 29 December 2016

5 Keys to Preventing Chemical Exposures

Any time employees are working with hazardous materials, there is a risk of exposure. To prevent exposures, emphasize 5 key protective measures. 

1. Knowledge
  • Employees need to pay attention to safety training and apply what they learn on the job. When they come to a training session or safety meeting, they should be prepared to focus all their attention on participating and learning.
  • Employees who work with hazardous materials must be thoroughly familiar with labels and MSDS, including a the technical terms, warning words, pictograms, color-coding and numerical systems, etc.
2. PPE
  • Workers should always read the label and MSDS prior to using any hazardous chemical in order to determine the proper PPE to use to protect against the specific hazards of the substance.
  • Workers should be taught to don, remove, and dispose of PPE properly as well as to inspect it before use to make sure it fits correctly.
3. Safe Handling
  • Employees should inspect chemical containers regularly and report leaks or missing or unreadable labels.
  • They should remove from the primary container only as much of a substance as they need for a job, and keep containers closed when not in use.
  • Employees should use required ventilation to remove chemical vapors.
  • They must store and use chemicals away from substances and conditions that could cause hazardous reactions.
4. Good Hygiene
  • Workers should be required to wash thoroughly after working with chemicals.
  • Workers should also keep food, beverages, street clothes, and other personal items out of chemical areas to avoid contamination.
5. Emergency Response
  • Employees should report spills immediately and take appropriate action, depending on their training. If they are not trained and equipped to clean up spills they should evacuate the area and let the cleanup team handle the spill.
  • Employees should know appropriate first aid for inhalation of hazardous substances, skin or eye contact, and ingestion.

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