10 safety tips for the chemical industry

Take a look at these 10 safety tips for the chemical industry to see if your company’s chemical hygiene plan needs to be changed or increased.

Don’t risk the devastating consequences of chemical accidents. Proper planning can save countless lives and reduce working hours. Take a look at these 10 safety tips for the chemical industry to see if your company’s chemical hygiene plan needs to be changed or increased.

1. Provide training and resources. Don’t assume that employees know how to prevent or respond to chemical spills. Carry out comprehensive standard operating procedures (SOP) training for all employees, including various chemicals. Post information in any chemical area to supplement standard operating procedures. This helps in situations where chemicals require specific handling instructions.

Educate employees on four ways to contact chemicals. Teach them how to use safety equipment and correct procedures to avoid inhalation, ingestion, injection and absorption.

2. Labels are clear. Properly marking all chemical containers can save lives. Even in the eyes of experts, chemicals are often similar. Check the container label – everyone should be able to easily see the chemical hazards outside the container. Properly labeled containers will prevent accidents caused by mixing incorrect substances or improper disposal.

Place the material safety data sheet (MSDS) in an easily accessible and clearly marked location. Workers should consult the corresponding MSDS before contacting any chemicals. These instructions provide information about safety procedures for hazardous and safe handling of materials.

3. Position, position, position. Regularly assess the location of all chemicals. Confirm that the chemical container is not close to other chemicals that may cause adverse reactions. In addition, in case of container rupture, proper ventilation and drainage should be considered. Good ventilation in the storage room and working space can ensure the air quality in both places. Depending on the chemicals used, exhaust outlets may be required in the work area.

4. Safety inspection of emergency equipment. Occupational safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidelines require emergency equipment to be available and functional in buildings where chemicals are stored or handled. An emergency eye wash can prevent employees from losing sight when chemicals enter their eyes. Recently, a working fire extinguisher checked prevented the small fire from getting bigger. On site firefighters may need fire-fighting equipment, such as water sources and hoses.

5. Cleanliness is second only to safety. Keep the work station clean and orderly to prevent accidents. Wet floors are easy to fall. Messy work areas can cause accidental leakage or mixing. In order to reduce confusion, put the excess chemicals in the original containers until needed. Set up a processing area near the workers’ workstation to safely handle the used chemicals.

Workers must also have a place where they can leave their work clothes in the factory. Washing machines in the workplace can prevent workers from taking potentially contaminated clothes home for cleaning. Instruct the workers to change their clothes before leaving, so as to prevent their families from contacting the chemicals in the factory.

6. Keep safety equipment within sight. In order to keep employees away from chemicals, they need to wear safety equipment in this area. Tell all employees the location of goggles, respirators and gloves. Employees are encouraged to use these devices every time they enter the workplace. When safety equipment is ignored, it may be exposed to chemicals. Making safety equipment more accessible will ensure that workers use it.

Train all workers to carefully check their safety equipment. Discard any items that show signs of excessive wear or damage. Damaged equipment will endanger safety.

7. Specify the location of food and beverages. It is forbidden to eat and drink near the working area to prevent workers from eating chemicals by mistake. Eat, drink and rest in specific places away from chemical storage and workplaces. Near this place, employees should have a sink and soap to wash their hands before eating or drinking water. This can wash away any possible chemical residues on your hands and prevent accidental eating. Banning any food or drink near the work area is the simplest way to prevent chemical or food contamination.

8.Establish a responsibility chain. There is a clear command system to respond in an emergency. Employees at every level should work in shifts. Teach every worker who they should report an accident to. This requires a plan to avoid the situation that the right supervisor does not come to work. Make a backup list in case someone gets sick.

9. Give language lessons to new employees. Generally, the terminology used by employees in chemicals seems to be a foreign language for new employees or transferred personnel. When employees cannot understand each other, confusion and mistakes will occur.

A quick course on vocabulary used in the workplace can prevent disasters through simple language courses. For example, an employee who has never heard of the word “black Becky” of a boiler may be confused and misunderstood in one direction. Learn all terms used by employees and pass this information on to new employees to avoid communication errors.

10. Practice, practice, practice again. Implement safety procedures for emergencies. Fire drill and chemical leakage drill will make the skills learned by employees in training well honed. When an emergency occurs, employees will know their roles and functions to reduce the damage to themselves and the building.

It is unrealistic to expect the company to prevent all emergencies and accidents. In addition to prevention, chemical hygiene plans must also include information on responding to emergencies. If an accident occurs, this two-tier procedure can reduce the problems and consequences. Don’t delay revising the company’s safety plan. Life may depend on it.

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