The Importance of Chemical Safety

Close-up of a blue flammable liquid container

Over 15,000 people are injured from chemical accidents each year. Do you know how to prevent chemical poisoning and burning in your lab?

Chemical Safety Basics Explained

Working with chemicals is dangerous and poses many risks, including chemical poisoning and burns. Informing yourself on the chemical safety basics helps prevent chemical-related injuries.

Here are some chemical safety tips to follow in your workspace:

  • Provide personal protective equipment (PPE) and properly wear PPE.
  • Always stay organized to avoid chemical spills.
  • Enforce hazard communication, so everyone stays aware of hazards.
  • Provide hazard information and put it somewhere everyone can read it.
  • Properly train staff on chemical safety.
  • Label all containers in your workspace.
  • Implement material safety data sheets.
  • Dispose of chemical waste following the University of San Diego’s standards.

By following these chemical safety basics, you automatically increase the level of chemical safety in your lab—but there are always more precautions to take. 

Ensure the safety of your staff with high-quality personal protective equipment.

Dealing With Chemicals in the Workplace

Many workplaces use chemicals in their daily work, from agriculture to healthcare. You’d be surprised by the number of industries that need chemicals to perform their duties—and how many accidents stem from the misuse of chemicals. 

Every industry must prioritize chemical safety to ensure the safety of its workers. There are three main ways to prevent chemical accidents in the workplace:

Minimize Physical Hazards

Minimizing physical hazards in the workplace decreases the likelihood of chemical spills. 

Always make sure your workspace is clean and organized. This makes it easy to navigate the space around you, decreasing the chance of a spill.

Another way to minimize physical hazards is by storing chemicals properly. Chemicals must be held in closed containers away from other work equipment to prevent spills. Keeping chemicals in separate containers away from everything else in your work area prevents chemicals from leaking into the atmosphere.

Implement Hazardous Chemical Awareness Training

Hazardous chemical awareness training is arguably the most critical aspect of chemical safety, as it ensures all employees understand the importance of following correct procedures to avoid chemical injuries.

Employee training must include the following to be effective:

  • Introducing chemical safety and chemicals you use in the workplace
  • Explaining of chemical laws and duties
  • Training employees to label all chemicals
  • Describing the routes of chemical exposure and symptoms of exposure
  • Exemplifying the placement and storage of chemicals
  • Using PPE correctly
  • Identifying important information from safety data sheets
  • Explaining the correct procedures to take in cause of an accident
  • Highlighting the importance of accident reports

When your team is aware of the dangers of chemical accidents, they’re more likely to prevent them. Safety information and training are only effective if your employees work as a collective to protect their work area, themselves, and those around them. 

Handling Hazardous Material Properly

Correctly handling hazardous materials decreases health hazards in the workplace. Follow these chemical handling guidelines to increase chemical safety in the workplace:

  1. You must always isolate chemicals in separate, leak-proof containers. You can’t use just any container you have lying around—containers made from high-density polyethylene plastic are safe for chemical storage and measuring.
  2. When preparing the chemical for use, always measure the exact amount you need. Over pouring or under pouring may lead to explosions or other chemical accidents.
  3. Always wear gloves when handling chemicals. Both PVC and nitrile gloves are safe to use. Depending on your environment, one option may be better than the other. PVC gloves protect against most acids, fats, and petroleum hydrocarbons. Nitrile gloves are entirely chemical resistant.

When disposing of chemicals and their containers, you must follow the EPA standard of triple rinsing. Chemical residue harms the environment, so properly throwing chemicals away is crucial.

Where Can I Get PPE and Proper Chemical Handling Equipment?

Axiom Products provides quality PPE and chemical handling equipment for all industries. 

Our nitrile and PVC gloves are safe for chemical handling and protect you from burns. We also offer disposable and reusable gloves designed for different environments. 

Axiom’s Jet Rinse Triple-Rinsing Nozzle is the best chemical container cleaner on the market. You can dispose of your containers safely every time with this nozzle, as it removes up to 99% of residue in under one minute.

Contact an Axiom professional today to ensure chemical safety in your workspace today.