How to Properly Handle Chemicals: A Perfect Guide to Safety
Although various chemicals have important/necessary uses in everyday life, we need to be careful in the handling of these chemicals because many can have dangerous side effects with human inhalation/ingestion, skin contact, and spills. Chemicals need to be taken care of and handled with precaution so that individuals and the environment do not experience and adverse contact.
Many times, individuals and businesses not being fully aware of safe handling procedures is a root cause of injuries and/or spills. This can happen due to a lack of training, a lack of care, or a lack of safe operating procedures for different classifications of chemicals. This article is about raising awareness to mitigate against the risk which chemicals can pose to individuals and the environment.
There are chemicals that are not too harmful, such as a hand soap, but there are those chemicals that are very harmful, such as oxidizers, and they need extra care in the handling and disposal process.
Chemicals that are Harmful
Before we move to another topic, let’s discuss those chemicals which are harmful to us. Formaldehyde, Pesticide Chemicals, Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs), Lead, Asbestos, Hazardous/Toxic Air Pollutants, and Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) are some of the chemicals which are dangerous.
How do Chemical Manufacturing Companies Assess Purity
There are three ways in which chemical manufacturers assess purity and they are by using the chromatographic method, comparison method and by testing physical properties of the chemical.
By using different forms of liquid or gas or chemicals, they assess the impurities of a chemical. It is an analytical approach. It positively detects any toxic substances present in the chemicals.
This is one of the easiest methods which usually goes by comparison. They rule out the impurities by comparing the chemical with the previously tested chemicals. It is both smart and fast.
Testing of the Physical Properties
Pure substances have a specific melting and boiling point. Manufacturers sometimes tend to check the melting or boiling point of the chemical to understand whether it is pure or not.
The Importance of a Clean Workplace
A workplace should be clean and should have a healthy and prevailing atmosphere where individuals can thrive through safety. In a chemical manufacturing company, the proper storage of products and the atmosphere is important to be aware of and maintain. Chemical blending services should always abide by the general rules and regulations of workplace safety codes and the company should always adhere to proper storage of products in sealed containers that cannot be hit or spilled.
Certain chemicals react to each other and if there are dealt with improperly then serious accidents can happen. SDS sheets should be readily available on-site for all individuals to determine the hazardous risks of each product, and proper training must be maintained for employees to read SDS sheets properly. Chemical packaging should also be done carefully.
Some companies blend and package the chemicals, and training of safe handling procedures should be done with extra care, especially since there are potential areas of contact with certain corrosive or even flammable blends. Here are some of the precautions that you should take while handling the chemicals.
- Make sure that you are wearing protective equipment such as glasses, gloves, masks, garments, etc. to ensure minimal risk of direct contact.
- Each and every manufacturing company has a protocol that they have to go through while handling such critical matters. Companies should review these to make sure there are no unforeseen risk areas and maintain proper training to ensure employees are following protocols exactly how they should be followed. A big risk of chemical contact can be familiarity with certain products, especially if the company has been handling them for a long time. No matter the familiarity, always stress the importance of chemical hazards.
- Make sure that you do not miss a blending or production step while handling the hazardous chemicals. It can have a serious negative effect.
- Handling such items can cause irritations, burning and other physical illnesses which can cause disruption in your life. Read the SDS sheets for items and make sure you are wearing the proper protection before handling any size package of the chemical.
- Make sure that the container that you are using to contain the chemicals are totally leak-free and has good tight caps with functional stoppers. The chemicals should be kept in an airtight and leak-free container. If the container looks compromised, make sure to contact the available manager so proper precautions can be taken to ensure the product is placed into a new, safe container, or disposed of safely.
Making sure that the place you work in is free of any disastrous events is the continual responsibility for the whole organization. Helping each other learn potential hazards, how to mitigate the risk of them, and fostering a learning environment where potential hazards can be pointed out before an accident are crucial steps for chemical safety.
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