Proper planning is always essential in any business, even more so for those dealing with hazardous materials like chemicals. Reducing instances of chemical accidents will not only save you time but also money. If you belong in the chemical industry, here are ten ways on how to ensure that you and your employees remain safe at all times.
- Provide Training and Access to Resources.
Never assume that everyone you hire will be familiar when it comes to handling chemical products. Invest in their training and make sure that they understand your company’s Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) if a chemical accident occurs.
2. Check Location.
Chemicals are volatile, which is why you should pay attention to where you store these products. See to it that chemicals that tend to react with other chemicals are stored safely away from them. Take into account ventilation and drainage in the event that a chemical spill occurs.
3. Label All Products.
Properly labeling all chemical products can help save a life. Since chemicals do tend to look the same, making sure that everything is labeled accordingly can help your employees handle them with care.
4. Ensure Workstations are Clean.
Another way to ensure that you are handling chemicals safely is to keep all workstations clean. There should be no spills, clutters, and tools left behind that may cause an accident. Additionally, companies should provide an area where employees can leave their clothing behind for disinfection to reduce contaminating their homes.
5. Prepare Emergency Equipment.
Follow the guidelines as mandated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration when it comes to emergency equipment. This includes preparing an emergency station near areas where chemicals are handled in order to wash out the chemical to minimize damage. Make sure that all fire extinguishers are properly placed and accessible in case a fire breaks out.
6. Designate an Eating Area.
It is never good to mix your employees’ work area to where they take their break. Make sure that you have a designated rest area away from the hazardous materials to minimize chemical ingestion.
7. Require Wearing of Safety Gears.
The use of PPEs and other safety gear must be done at all times. Everyone should be aware of where the protective equipment is found to minimize exposure to hazardous chemicals.
8. Teach Your Language to New Hires.
Whenever you hire new personnel, always teach them the language that everyone is using in your business, especially any terminologies regarding chemical products being used. Any jargon that your team is using must be taught to the new hires to avoid confusion on the floor.
9. Impose Chain of Responsibility.
Ensure that you have drawn out a plan for a chain of responsibility for your team to follow. This helps avoid confusion when an emergency takes place, especially around handling chemical substances. This will also help ensure that production or work will not be hindered when one of your employees calls in sick.
10. Practice Safety Protocols.
Practice safety protocols and drills from time to time to ensure that everyone knows what to do in case an emergency broke out in your company. This way, if any chemical spills or accidents happen, your employees will be able to follow the safety procedure to the letter.
Companies will have different safety protocols in place, especially when it comes to chemicals. Make sure that your team knows your SOPs when handling dangerous substances.