Most of us know that chemicals can be very dangerous, especially when they aren’t handled safely.
This is stuff we might work with day to day, like industrial solvents and product additives, or substances that we may only encounter once in a while, say, when cleaning heavy machinery.
Chemical exposure can cause:
- And Lung irritation.
And these are just the short-term effects.
Sustained exposure can create some very undesirable health issues, like:
- Respiratory issues
- And other negative health effects.
The best ways to protect against exposure to hazardous chemicals (Hazard Communication) are to:
- Install protection systems, such as ventilation and detection devices in your facility
- Use personal protective equipment like eye protection, respiratory protection, proper clothing, gloves, and foot protection.
But, what should be done if an accident does result in exposure?
- Avoid breathing gases or vapors
- Avoid skin contact
- Remove ignition sources; anything that sparks could cause a boom
- Evacuate the area
- Report the emergency to your supervisor
If you get chemicals in your eyes or on your body:
- Know where eye wash stations and showers are located, and how to use them.
- Remove any clothing splashed with the chemical, including shoes and jewelry
- Flush eyes or shower for a minimum of twenty minutes
- Cover eye with clean gauze and seek medical attention
It’s also important to always be prepared for emergencies through training and becoming familiar with your facility’s emergency response plan.