Chemicals are a natural part of numerous industries, such as pharmaceuticals, production, and manufacturing. Most of the everyday products we take for granted are made up of chemicals. In order to keep the workplace safe, keep in mind these tips for handling and storing chemicals in an industrial setting.
Personal Protective Equipment
The first tip for handling and storing chemicals is to provide your employees with the proper equipment to protect themselves. PPE (personal protective equipment) includes gear like chemical-resistant gloves, eye protection, lab coats or aprons, and close-toed shoes. PPE is a basic protective measure that prevents chemicals from coming into contact with sensitive organs or irritating and burning skin.
Once your employees have protective gear, you should examine their workspace. It’s crucial to minimize accidents and spill hazards, such as potential trip hazards and heavily trafficked areas of the workplace.
When transporting chemicals, it’s important to implement and enforce the best practices. Best practices for transporting chemicals include:
- Never move degrading chemicals or containers, as the containers can break.
- Place each chemical container in an appropriate, leak-proof container for an extra layer of protection during transportation, especially if you’re transporting corrosive materials.
- Place chemicals for transport onto a cart that can move over uneven terrain and will not stop suddenly.
- Do not transport chemicals when the workplace is at its busiest.
- Do not leave chemicals unattended while in the middle of transportation.
You cannot simply store chemicals wherever there’s room. You must store chemicals in a diligently maintained storage space. Carefully consider the safest, most convenient place to store chemicals in your facility. Keep in mind that your storage space needs to be properly ventilated to avoid chemical fumes from getting trapped and becoming a major hazard in the workplace.
Be sure to organize chemicals so that volatile chemicals have as little chance as possible to mix with each other in case of an accident. Perhaps the simplest but most important advice is to clearly label each container to prevent confusion.