Maintaining a Safe Workplace When Working with Hazardous Materials

Dr. Purushothaman
December 6, 2013

Most workplaces such as shops or offices won't come into contact with any hazardous chemicals or gases and so workers do not have to wear protective clothing and equipment, but there are some workplaces where if this didn't happen then the workforce could be at risk to illness or even death. Some industrial or laboratory environments require the use of some hazardous substances in their line of work and so to protect the workers, the workplace and any visitors to your business there are a number of items you will need to protect them all.

Safety glasses or goggles are recommended where you may work with materials that could harm the eyes, a splashed liquid such as acid or some other corrosive could cause serious damage to your eyes and so wearing safety glasses is often required for preventing this from happening. If your workers were to get something in their eyes it is important your first aid station includes some form of eye wash/bath for rinsing and cleansing any foreign object/substance from the eyes.

A lot of industrial environments may include heavy lifting or handling objects that are sharp such as sheet metal, to prevent any cuts heavy duty gloves should be worn, these gloves can look like gardening gloves but have thick rubber on top of the fabric to prevent anything you may be handling from cutting your hands.

When working with substances and chemicals that could be unstable or harmful you need to ensure that these are not left lying around where they could be knocked over, you should make sure that all chemicals are stored securely in a hazardous material storage cabinet. These cabinets are strong and made from heavy metals with leak proof edges so all substances stored in them cannot escape as well as secure locking mechanisms to keep a track of where these materials are as well.

Another obvious safety feature your workplace should have is safety signs to signify that hazardous materials are present; this serves as a warning as well as a prompt to your workers to put on and use any protective equipment or clothing. Hazardous chemicals and gases need to have warning diamond signs, these state what chemicals are present which can be vital to know if anyone were to be involved in an accident and the emergency services need to know exactly what they have been exposed to.

Make sure your workplace is properly equipped for all health and safety issues such as having fire extinguishers and first aid kits in your workplace.

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