Employees who consistently work with chemicals are at an increased risk of experiencing chemical injuries. In fact, about 50% of people with chemical injuries in a given time frame were employees who were exposed at work. Even a slight oversight of safety procedures — whether at a lab or factory — can lead to serious injury.
As an employer, you want to ensure your workers’ safety and make sure that they are aware of all safety protocols. To boost your injury prevention plan, you can require attendance at safety training seminars and strategically place signs in the workplace to remind your workers how they should handle hazardous material. Beyond these tactics, it is important to take every opportunity to remind your employers of the do’s and don’ts of chemical safety.
Do’s of chemical safety
Workers can decrease their risk of chemical injury by adhering to safety precautions to the best of their ability. However, safety precautions don't always have to dictate what employees shouldn’t do. Indeed, employees can protect their chemical safety when they follow a list of “do’s,” including the following steps:
- Read and follow the manufacturer's instructions and safety guidelines for the chemicals being used.
- Always wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), such as gloves, goggles and respirators, depending on the specific chemical and the task at hand.
- Keep chemicals in properly labeled, sealed containers and store them in a designated area, away from heat sources and other potential hazards.
- Use the appropriate tools and equipment to handle and transfer chemicals safely.
- In the event of a chemical spill or leak, quickly try to assess which areas are affected or where the chemical is coming from. Then, exit immediately and follow decontamination procedures.
Don’ts of chemical safety
In addition to following instructions, there are also several components of chemical safety that require restraint. Employees should avoid doing the following things when working with or around hazardous chemicals:
- Don't mix chemicals together unless you know it is safe to do so, as this can create dangerous reactions.
- Don't eat, drink or smoke near chemicals.
- Don't handle chemicals without the proper training or PPE.
- Don't use chemicals past their expiration date.
- Don’t leave chemicals out unattended.
- Don't pour chemicals down the drain or in the trash. They need to be disposed of properly and safely via a designated waste container.
When following both the do’s and don’ts of chemical safety, employees can better prevent serious injuries in the workplace.
In addition to citing the importance of following do’s and don'ts, employers should note that regulations and standards for handling and storing chemicals, as well as safety procedures, vary from state to state and even from city to city. It’s therefore essential for employers to be aware of and comply with all relevant regulations in their area.
Work-Fit can help your employers follow safety do’s and don’ts
As an employer, it is crucial for you to communicate the do’s and don’ts of chemical safety clearly and frequently. That’s where Work-Fit comes in. Our team of experts can lead safety training courses that keep your employees up to date on safety regulations and protocols.
Contact our team today for more information about our services or to learn how we can help keep your employees working and living well.