Safety Tips For Handling Chemicals

By their very nature, industrial and household chemicals are hazardous — but there are ways to mitigate the risk of injury. You can never take too many precautions, but here are some important chemical safety tips.

1. Label everything. Knowledge is power — and your best protection. Every chemical you might come in contact with should be properly labeled. That means listing the name of the chemical, potential hazards and instructions for emergency response. Labels should be obvious, and it can’t hurt to have them in multiple languages. You should also incorporate clear signage as an extra precaution. The more clearly you can identify chemicals in the vicinity, the safer you and others will be.

2. Leave chemical handling to the pros. There’s a right way to do it, and about a million wrong ways. You can take your best guess, but you should probably trust the people who do this for a living. Handling chemicals safely can be a challenge because they have varying degrees of volatility. Some shouldn’t be overly jostled, and others can’t stand the heat. In a world of endless safety regulations and best practices, professional chemical handlers can keep people and products safe during one of the most hazardous steps of chemical distribution.

3. Ventilate. An invisible and often overlooked hazard of chemical handling is fumes. Stagnant air conditions can be deadly. They can poison the people in the vicinity, or they could combust. For that reason, steady ventilation is absolutely crucial. Never operate in an area that isn’t properly ventilated, and be sure that your storage facilities are also well ventilated.

4. Enforce hygiene standards. Much of the danger surrounding chemicals is at a personal level. You can put safe handling and storage practices in place, but if handlers don’t wash their hands, they are still in danger. Chemical residues on the skin can get into a person’s eyes, or he/she might breathe in residual fumes from unwashed clothes. Whether you’re the one in contact with chemicals or it’s your team on the ground, personal hygiene should be at the top of the priority list. It should be strictly enforced, and all materials handlers should have easy access to bathrooms and cleaning stations.

5. Be smart with storage. When you think safe chemical storage, you probably think of safe positioning that prevents unwanted chemical reactions. You’re certainly not wrong, but there’s more to smart storage than that.You also want to position your chemicals in a way that minimizes unnecessary movement. The risk of injury or contamination increases every time workers have to shuffle through chemicals. In warehousing, you should take note of which orders are next in line, which tend to move faster and which should remain as stationary as possible.

SolvChem Custom Packaging Division is known for dotting all the i’s and crossing all the t’s. In short, we know how to use chemicals safely. We’ve got chemical safety down to a science. To know more about our safety procedures, or to hear how we might help you maintain a safer facility, contact us today.