How chemicals can be lethal in untrained hands…
Companies of every size, in every industry rely on chemicals for cleaning. Chemicals can be very dangerous and need to be treated with respect so your employees don’t risk injuring themselves. Did you know that hazardous substances kill 440,000 workers worldwide annually, or that ten percent of all skin cancers are attributable to workplace exposures to hazardous substances?
Workers who use cleaning chemicals on the job may be affected by:
1. Chemical ingredients in the cleaning products
2. The amount/quality of ventilation in the area
3. Chemical splashes or spills
4. Any skin contact with the chemical
5. How the cleaning product is being used or stored
6. The release of any vapors and/or gases from chemicals
Employers must assume the responsibility of training their staff on proper chemical handling including:
• Which chemicals must be diluted (as opposed to being used full strength)
• How to properly dilute chemicals
• How to safely use and store products, and what to do in the event of a spill
• What PPE they need to be using to protect their eyes and skin
• Jugs of chemical need to be properly labeled to identify their contents and hazards.
• Workers must be provided a place to wash their hands after handling chemicals. Cleaning chemicals should NEVER be used to wash hands, only soap and water are to be used.
• Proper ventilation is required during cleaning to allow sufficient air flow, and prevent the buildup of hazardous vapors.
• Keep material safety data sheets for all hazardous substances, and ensure that employees understand the information in the MSDS.