07 Aug Chemical Safety
Chemical Safety Precautions
Chemicals come in various forms and can affect those exposed in different ways. A chemical can take the form of a mist, vapor, liquid, dust, fume, or gas. The type of chemical, the way it is used, and the form that it takes all help to determine its effect and what should be done to avoid harmful exposure.
Here are some basic safety precautions that should be understood and followed:
- Know what to do in an emergency. If there is a leak or spill, keep away from the area unless you know what the chemical is and how to safely clean it up.
- Know where emergency protective equipment and supplies kept and how to use them.
- Use appropriate protective clothing and equipment (glasses, aprons, boots, gloves, etc.) as required or as necessary.
- When working with chemicals, always wash hands thoroughly promptly after use or exposure.
- Immediately rinse any areas of skin that may have been exposed to chemicals
- If the clothing becomes contaminated by the chemical, shower or wash the skin areas that may have come in contact with the chemical.
- Change and decontaminate the clothing (or dispose of clothing if it is designed to single use or is too badly damaged to be salvaged). Do not take contaminated clothing home to be laundered because by doing so, it could expose family members to the contaminant.
- Never take food or drinks into the work area where chemicals are being used or stored.
- If work will be done in an area where there is a possibility of exposure to toxic substances, use a buddy system or establish an emergency communication system.
- Keep the workplace clean to reduce the risk of contamination. Where possible, wipe up and absorb the contaminant, using proper protective equipment as required. Clean up spills immediately and dispose of contaminated material properly. With some chemicals a vacuum is recommended for cleanup rather than a broom or compressed air. The idea is to collect and confine the contaminant, not just spread it around.
You should know how to handle potentially hazardous chemicals, after all, you do it every day. Pumping gas, cleaning an oven, they use chemicals that could harm or kill you.
Remember, read the label first. In an emergency you may not be able to!!!