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Safety Tips for the Chemical Industry

by Eddy Smith

You should not be afraid of the consequences of a toxic chemical accident. Proper planning will save you many lives and hours of lost productivity. Here are safety tips to help you determine if your chemical hygiene policy needs to be modified or updated.

1. Offer training and resources: Do not assume employees will know how to deal with chemical spillages. Every employee should be taught the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for handling a variety of chemicals. Post information in all areas that contain chemicals to help supplement the SOPs. This is especially useful when specific handling instructions are required.

Educate employees about the four ways they might be exposed to chemicals. Teach your employees how safety equipment is used and the proper procedures to avoid chemical ingestion, ingestion, injection, or absorption.

2. Label everything clearly: It could save a life if all chemical containers were properly labeled. Even for the most experienced chemical experts, chemicals often look the same. Container labeling should be checked. Anyone should see the warning labels on the outside of any container. Properly labeled containers are essential to avoid accidental mixing of incorrect substances and improper disposal.

Material safety data sheets (MSDSs) should be located in a visible and clearly marked location. The worker should ensure that they have the MSDS in hand before handling any chemical. These sheets include information on the hazards and safety procedures that can be used to safely handle the chemical.

3. Location, Location, and Location: Regularly inspect all chemicals for their location. It is important to ensure that chemical containers don’t sit next to any chemicals they might adversely react with. Allow for proper drainage and ventilation in the event that a container is damaged. You can maintain the air quality of both your workspace and your storeroom by ensuring adequate ventilation. You might need exhaust vents for your work area, depending on what chemicals you use.

4. Safety Check Emergency Equipment: The Occupational Safety and Health Administration guidelines require emergency equipment to be in stock and available for use in buildings that store and handle chemicals. A working emergency eyewash can prevent workers from becoming blind from chemicals getting in their eyes. A functioning and well-maintained extinguisher can stop small fires from becoming bigger. Firefighting equipment that is needed on-site may include water sources and pipes.

5. Safety is the next priority after cleanliness: To avoid accidents, keep your workstations clean. Wet floors promote falls. Wet floors encourage slips and falls. It is best to keep any chemicals that are not in their original containers until they are required to reduce clutter. Workers can dispose of any chemicals safely in the area nearest their workstations.

6. Keep Safety Gear on the Job: Safety gear should be worn in order to prevent chemical exposure. Teach your employees the importance of wearing gloves, respirators, or goggles. Workers should make sure they use the equipment each time they enter a workspace. When safety gear is neglected, exposure to chemicals can result. Workers will use safety equipment that is easy to reach.Bisley Chemicals has a broad range of chemicals that can be used for many purposes. Bisley has a variety of customer needs. These include highly specialized products sold in drum lots to liquids IBCs and bulk cargoes weighing over ten thousand MT.

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