Efficient Ways to Prevent Chemical Exposures in Your Workplace
Workers risk exposure any time they work with hazardous chemicals. Among the jobs that might expose workers to hazardous chemicals hence causing various health effects, or worse, death includes the chemical plants, factories, automotive, and manufacturing industries. Preventing exposure to these chemicals is the most effective way of ensuring the safety of employees and clients handling the chemicals. Below are some of the most effective protective measures that you can implement to prevent exposures. Please read on.
You need to ensure your workforce pays attention to safety training and applies the knowledge on their daily duties. During the safety meetings and safety training, the workers have to be prepared to dedicate all their attention towards participation and learning. The workers working with hazardous chemicals must familiarise themselves with labels and MSDS, including all the warning words, technical terms, colour-coding, pictograms, and numerical systems.
Proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Before using any hazardous chemicals, it is crucial that you first read the label and MSDS to determine the proper PPE required for protection against the potential hazards of the product. Employees also need to be taught to safely remove and dispose of used PPE, as well as inspect it before use to ensure it’s in good condition and fits properly. Avoid using equipment not designed for handling the specific chemicals you are using. If unsure, ensure to consult your supervisor or safety officer before handling the hazardous chemical.
Practice Safe Handling
Safe handling of hazardous substances is very key. Encourage your workforce to regularly inspect hazardous chemical containers and report any leaks or unreadable or missing labels. They should ensure proper ventilation in the storage rooms to remove the chemical vapours and bring in the fresh air. The chemicals should be removed from the primary container only as much of the chemical as is required for a specific task, and the containers should always be closed when not in use. The workers should also use and store the chemicals away from other products and conditions that could result in hazardous reactions. You may need access equipment such as safety ladders for convenience when storing or retrieving the chemicals from the storage area.
Practice Good Hygiene
Food, beverages, and personal items should always be kept out of hazardous chemical areas to prevent any form of contamination. The workers should always avoid touching the above items before thoroughly washing their hands and bodies after handling the chemicals. Any spills in the stores should be cleaned as soon as possible to prevent hazardous vapours around the area. The containers used to store the chemicals also need to be kept clean and only used for storing the chemicals.
Efficient Emergency Response
Workers need to be properly trained on appropriate first aid measures for inhalation, eye or skin contact, and ingestion of hazardous substances. Workers should be encouraged to report any spills as soon as possible and take appropriate action, as per their training. Employees who lack sufficient training on proper emergency response should evacuate the area immediately and let the personnel with the relevant expertise clean up the spills and handle the emergencies.