The chemical sector is one of the safest, yet its public perception of safety has worsened. Perhaps this is because, occasionally, an accident at a chemical plant is spectacular and draws much attention. The public frequently links the chemical business with environmental and safety issues, resulting in a poor industry perception.
Don’t expose yourself to the potentially disastrous consequences of a chemical mishap. Planning ahead of time might save many lives and labor hours. Check out these chemicals’ safety advice to discover whether your company’s chemical hygiene strategy needs to be changed or expanded.
1. Training Employees on the Dangers and Safety Requirements
Don’t presume that personnel understands how to prevent or respond to chemical leaks. All new staff should be extensively trained on standard operating procedures for a range of substances. Post information about chemicals in any place where they are used to augment routine operating procedures. This is useful when the substances require special handling instructions.
You should educate employees on the ways they might be exposed to toxins. Educate them on utilizing suitable techniques and protective gear to avoid breathing, consumption, injection, and absorbing.
2. Proper Labelling
By correctly labeling all chemical items, you might potentially save a life. Even to an expert, substances can resemble one another. Inspect the labeling on the container—everyone should see the chemical dangers on the container’s outside.
Safety data sheets should be kept in an easily accessible and properly labeled area. A worker should examine the proper safety data sheet before working with any chemical. These pages include information on dangers and safety methods for handling the substance safely.
3. Chemical Location
Examine the placement of all compounds on a regular basis. Check those chemical containers are not placed near other substances that may react negatively with them. Allow for enough ventilation and drainage in the case of a container breach as well. Air quality in both the storage and the workstation may be ensured by providing enough ventilation in both locations. Based on the chemicals used, ventilation in a workspace may be necessary.
4. Tools and Equipment Maintenance
One danger that might lead to chemical catastrophes is the use of old and unmaintained equipment and tools. Ensure all your pipes, valves, storage tanks, etc., are well maintained. If the need arises, buy new flow control ball valves, pipes, tanks, etc., to replace the older ones. Maintenance is a form of prevention and should not be taken lightly. Also, remember to purchase proper LED lighting to keep your workplace well-lit.
5. Safety Checking Emergency Equipment
Occupational safety regulations frequently require emergency supplies to be present and operational in workplaces that hold or handle chemicals. Employees that get toxins in their eyes may benefit from an emergency eyewash. A functional and regularly serviced fire extinguisher prevents minor fires from spreading. Fire suppression equipment, such as water supplies and hoses, may be required by on-site firefighters.
6. Keep your Employees Energized
Team building activities tend to build trust among your employees, making your workplace a better place. The other advantage of these activities is keeping your employees active throughout the workweek, as work can get boring. The energy factor can assist in avoiding accidents caused by unmotivated employees, hence keeping your workplace safer.
Work with them to build DIY kayak launches and docks for team activities such as rafting, kayaking competitions, among others.
7. Designate Food and Drinks Stations
To protect workers from inadvertently consuming toxins, prohibit eating and drinking in the workplace. Make a separate area away from the chemical storage and workstation for eating, drinking, and taking breaks. Provide staff with quick access to basins and soap for washing hands before eating or drinking. This removes any potential contamination from the hands and helps to avoid accidental consumption.
The simplest approach to prevent poisoning by either chemicals or food is to forbid the consumption of food or beverages near the work area.
8. Keeping Safety gear Visible to All
Employees must use safety equipment when in the area to avoid chemical exposure. Teach all staff where to find goggles, respirators, and gloves. Encourage employees to utilize the equipment whenever they enter a workstation. Chemical exposure occurs when protective equipment is not used. Making safety equipment more accessible will encourage workers to utilize it.
Instruct all personnel to examine their safety equipment thoroughly. Throw away any items that show evidence of severe wear or damage. Safety is jeopardized by faulty equipment.
Practice emergency preparedness methods. Fire training exercises and chemical spill exercises can help personnel fine-tune the abilities they gained during training. When an emergency occurs, the person will understand their tasks and obligations to protect themselves and the facility.
The Bottom Line
It is unrealistic to expect businesses to avoid all problems and mishaps. Aside from preventive action, a chemical hygiene strategy should include information on emergency response. Don’t put off updating the company’s safety strategy. Remember, these safety measures are only effective if done regularly.
With that said, it is time to take action and keep your workplace better than you found it today.