Hazardous chemicals are everywhere, both at work and at home. So, how do we use them safely and not end up in the emergency room? Here are five ways to control chemical hazards for everyone’s protection:
- Substitute hazardous products with less hazardous or non-hazardous products.
- Buy only what you need so that containers size and overall quantity is limited.
- Review Safety Data Sheets and product labels prior to purchase so you know upfront what health and physical property hazards exist and associated recommended and required engineering controls and personal protective equipment.
- Be prepared to safely store chemicals. Understand the chemical compatibility of various chemicals stored on-site to be sure you are following proper segregation requirements and have them stored in proper containment and flammable cabinets.
- Train employees on proper handling of chemicals from a daily use perspective, as well as spill scenario perspectives. Not only should employees be trained in spill clean-up, but all employees should also be trained on hazard recognition, so they all know what to do in the event of a spill. Also, be sure to have spill kits available specific to the chemicals being stored.
With proper up-front planning, equipment, and training, hazardous chemicals can be used safely in the workplace.