What to Consider When Working with Hazardous Chemicals

Working with hazardous chemicals of course comes with a lot of potential issues.  It can cause both long and short term health problems like rashes, kidney and lung disorders and even poisoning.  As such, it’s critical you have the correct measures in place to protect anyone who may come into contact with them.  Here, we list some considerations.

What Common Hazardous Substances are

What constitutes as a hazardous chemical or substance?  Some of the most common include disinfectants, acids, paint or heavy metal.  This is of course an incredibly short list of examples.  The reality is that it’s likely that you come into contact with dangerous chemicals without even knowing it.

Make Sure they are Labelled Correctly

If you manufacture hazardous substances or chemicals, then you need to ensure the appropriate warning labels are on the products.  Otherwise you run the risk of people not knowing the dangers and potential issues that may arise due to the exposure. This blog post will give you all the information you need to know regarding the labelling of these substances.

Reduce the Level of Exposure

Of course, the idea should be that you should reduce the level of exposure to these types of chemicals as much as you can as a preventative measure.  If possible, you should make sure tasks are performed without using these substances, or substitute them with something less dangerous.  You should also ensure that they are stored in an isolated place if possible and train employees on how to handle them appropriately.

Provide them with the Correct Equipment

Its essential that the people in close contact with these substances have the equipment necessary to protect them.  This could include things such as gloves and goggles.  You should also ensure that the workplace is monitored regularly in case there is a need for further safety measures.  Consulting with employees to find out their feedback on the equipment to see if there are any improvements you could make that you hadn’t yet thought of.

Make Sure you Keep Written Records

If you do have hazardous substances in your place of work – you need to ensure that you are maintaining records effectively.  This can include the dates and times of any risk assessments that have been completed, or results of any environmental based test that has been undertaken.  It is also a good idea to have records of any employees who have been in contact with any substances that are potentially dangerous.

Seek Advice if Needed

If you aren’t 100% sure about the appropriate action you need to take as an employer if you have people in contact with these types of substances – then don’t be afraid to seek professional advice on compliance, safety basics and some of the record sheets that should be filled out.

If you already have dangerous substances in your workplace, or this is something that could come up in the future, make sure you take what we have outlined into consideration.