Published on May 29th, 2014 | by Lizzie W0
7 Safety Rules To Follow When Working With Dangerous Chemicals
If you run a business that requires the use of hazardous chemicals, there are certain safety precautions you must keep in mind. Chemicals can pose a variety of dangers if the proper precautions aren’t followed. These can include fire, explosions and injuries to the skin and other body parts. Here are seven guidelines that should be kept in mind when working with dangerous chemicals. These guidelines will help to ensure that you and your employees are safe on the job.
1. Don’t Mix Chemicals Unless You are Familiar With the Effects
Some chemicals are relatively safe on their own but become deadly when combined with other substances. For example, combining chlorine bleach and ammonia produces an extremely toxic gas. Before combining any chemicals, make sure you do your research.
2. Have a Clear and Safe Work Area
Make sure you have plenty of room to work with the chemicals. Avoid having anything flammable nearby. There should be no food or beverages in the area that could become contaminated. Ensure that employees have access to safety equipment and emergency guides. These are very important. It is required that you have a clear protocol for dealing with any fires, or emergencies that arise.
3. Use Proper Storage
Chemicals should only be stored in their original containers. Such chemicals are packaged according to certain specifications, and you should never assume that it’s safe to store them in a different way. Chemicals may interact in an unpredictable way with certain types of containers, such as plastic, glass or metal. Chemicals may also be mistaken for other substances if they are placed in the wrong type of containers.
4. Have the Appropriate Tools
When experimenting with chemicals, it’s essential to use the proper tools. This will depend on the chemicals you are working with. For example, using the proper tools when working with liquid nitrogen, such as phase separator should prevent splashing. Liquid nitrogen can cause serious injuries such as frostbite if it comes into contact with the skin. Employees should be provided with proper clothing including goggles, masks and gloves.
5. Make Sure Your Work Area is Well Ventilated
Ventilation is important when working with dangerous chemicals. Keep windows open and use a powerful fan to keep the air circulating. Make sure that your building complies with all local safety inspection standards.
6. Wear Protective Clothing and Safety Gear
Always wear protective items such as long sleeves, long pants, goggles, gloves and a face mask when working with chemicals. This is generally a legal requirement and you must provide this equipment to anyone involved.
7. Dispose of Chemicals Properly
Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for disposing of the chemical safely. If you aren’t sure about this, contact your local waste management office. It is important for the environment and the safety of everyone involved that you dispose of the chemicals according to proper guidelines.
These are some of the main safety guidelines to follow when you are working with dangerous chemicals. Before starting your work or experiment, make sure that you are thoroughly familiar with all of the substances you will be using. Ensure that you provide your employees with all the proper safety instruction and equipment.