Safety should always come first when handling chemicals at the workplace. You should take some precautions if you are handling chemicals in an office, laboratory, or manufacturing facility.
The level of harm from chemicals may vary from one work environment to another, but you still have to be keen when handling chemicals. These are some of the safety tips you need when handling chemicals:
1. Proper ventilation at a place of work
You should ensure you have proper ventilation in your place of work. If you are working in an enclosed space, carbon monoxide levels are likely to rise, which can often result in death. So, when using your chemical pumps, you have to ensure your room is well ventilated.
For a manufacturing facility or laboratory, you should ensure enough ventilation systems to pump out all poisonous gases.
2. Establish SOPs
If you are working in a production facility or a laboratory, you should ensure some standard operating procedures (SOP) are followed when on duty. The SOPs should cover the different stages of handling chemicals, from the delivery of raw materials to waste disposal. Set a specific SOP for every stage of the manufacturing process.
3. Safe storage of chemicals
You should observe the following when storing chemicals:
- Avoid storing chemicals in any container other than its original one.
- Keep all your chemicals and drugs out of reach of children.
- Keep your chemicals away from areas where your pets can have access.
- Store the chemicals in a cool and dry place away from pilot lights, heaters, and stoves.
- Do not store your chemicals close to products used in preparing food to prevent contamination and food poisoning.
4. Use the right tools
You should always use the right tools like glassware and gloves when handling chemicals. You should not use damaged glassware because this is just as dangerous as using the wrong chemicals. If you want to control the mess when handling chemicals, you can use containment tracks. Avoid spillages to save you time and money when handling chemicals.
In case of spills, you should know what you can do based on the SOP of your workplace. You should have a spill response strategy and plans to prevent spills in the first place.
5. Train your workers
If you are handling chemicals in your workplace, ensure you train your workers on chemical hygiene. Also, ensure all your workers understand how you’re planning works and how it can help them avoid exposure to dangerous chemicals.
Before assigning any workers to a laboratory, you have to ensure they are well trained to handle chemicals. If you want to reinforce chemical safety at the workplace, you should not stop training your workers to avoid chemical exposure.
Your workers should know how to wear the right protective gear when handling chemicals and ensure that all the chemical containers are labeled correctly.
Every environment and workplace comes with unique challenges to chemical safety. However, the tips we have shared in this article are vital to ensure safety in your manufacturing facility or laboratory when handling chemicals.