Work Conditions are Safe & Hygienic

Case study - How to reduce the risks of chemical usage


  • Replace the existing chemicals with less hazardous ones.

  • Ensure there is effective extraction and ventilation if any fumes, vapours or dust are produced.

  • Use appropriate personal protective equipment.

  • Use appropriate labelled containers for chemicals, and label containers in the language of workers.

  • Containers for dispensing chemicals should have a small opening and should have a lid (to reduce the release of vapours).

  • Keep containers closed, except when adding or moving chemicals.

  • Use drip pan and dispensing tools to avoid spillage, contact with workers or the environment.

  • Limit the number of operators using each container.

  • Note: common cotton masks are NOT suitable as protection against chemical vapours. They absorb vapours, so increase the concentration of chemical vapour inhaled. Only respirators can effectively remove contaminants from the air.

  • Chemical resistant gloves instead of cotton gloves should be used for handling corrosives, oil and solvents.

 

Ensure all workers using chemicals receive training on the use of them.

This training should cover:

 

  • How to dispense the chemicals safely.

  • The potential risks they face from using chemicals.

  • Why they need to wear PPE.

  • What health problems will occur if they don’t wear PPE.

  • How to put on, remove, adjust and use the PPE correctly.

  • How to know if PPE fits properly.

  • How to clean, maintain and dispose of PPE.

Be prepared for a chemical accident.

  • Install eyebaths or water for eye washes in case of chemical contact with skin or eyes.

  • Follow the instructions specified in the material safety data sheet. For example, common instructions include:

  • If someone faints, move them into the fresh air and get medical attention.

  • In the case of skin or eye contact with chemicals, go to the nearest first aid station, eyewash or shower. Thoroughly flush the contaminated area with clean water for at least 15 minutes and remove any contaminated cloth. Get medical attention.

  • If chemicals are inhaled, move them into the fresh air and get medical attention.


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