Hazardous chemicals can easily result in injury or even death when mishandled.
The key to protecting yourself and those around you is to know how to work safely with whatever dangerous materials your work requires. Although most doctors will tell you to simply use less hazardous materials, that is not always an option.
The tips and tricks outlined below will help you ensure the safety of yourself and those around you when you have no choice but to work with harmful materials.
The Dangers of Toxic Chemicals
There’s a good reason behind why chemical disposal teams wear hazmat suits. That reason is that toxic and hazardous materials can cause great bodily harm to an exposed human body.
“Toxic” materials tend to be anything that can induce symptoms related to poisoning if ingested. “Hazardous” materials tend to be so-called because of their dangerous physical properties, such as the ability to dissolve human skin or cause explosions.
Taking the Necessary Precautions
Surviving a hazardous materials spill is one thing and surviving ordinary working conditions with hazardous materials is an entirely different thing. The steps below apply almost exclusively to the latter. If a hazardous materials incident has already occurred, call 911 immediately.
Ensure The Area Has Proper Ventilation
Many dangerous materials produce toxic or hazardous fumes. For instance, fumes from gasoline can burn the inside of your nose when concentrated in a confined area and fumes from sulfuric acid can cause burns to the skin and eyes depending on the concentration of said fumes.
By ensuring that your workspace has proper ventilation (i.e., air-ducts, fans, open windows, or outdoor areas), you mitigate the risk of suffering adverse health effects as a result of concentrated gasses.
Properly Store Dangerous Materials
When it comes to propane, we have all scene the large tanks that are clearly marked “Explosives.” Typically, these tanks will be stored more than 50 feet away from any other buildings, will be fenced in, and will have “no smoking” signs nearby.
This is an example of proper storage of a hazardous material. By taking the necessary precautions, the risk of damage from an explosion becomes significantly reduced.
Handle With Care
When conducting your work, make sure to use the materials in the smallest amounts possible to still get the work done in a timely and efficient manner. Although using too little of the material might slow down productivity, using too much runs the risk of unleashing death and destruction on the company, which can slow down productivity far greater.
If you are in a situation that does not provide you with the option to control how much of the substance that you are exposed to at any given point in time, halt work until such a problem can be corrected.
Safety is the key to a productive and enjoyable work environment. By ensuring the safety and wellbeing of yourself and your employees or co-workers, you boost company morale, stave off lawsuits, and create a better place to work for all parties involved.