Did you know that there were over 137 oil spills in the USA in 2018 alone? While large chemical-related accidents often reach the headlines, there are countless smaller accidents each year that we do not hear about.
What do you do to ensure that your workers are handling chemicals safely? Do you know the answer to the question “what is a chemical hazard?”
If you want to know the answer to this question and learn more about preventing chemical-related accidents, simply read our in-depth article.
What Is a Hazardous Chemical?
Chemical handling is a precise science and carries great responsibility. For this reason, you should carry documentation and provide education for each chemical that you use. But what is a chemical?
OSHA defines a hazardous chemical as any chemical that “can cause a health or physical hazard.”
This is a very broad definition. However, it indicates that it is not only extremely dangerous chemicals such as acids and flammable substances that require careful care.
Each chemical requires its own set of paperwork including safety data sheets that indicate the short, medium, and long term effects of exposure to the chemical.
If you will be working closely with the chemical it would be good to complete an activity hazard analysis to ensure safe handling and work conditions.
What Hazardous Chemicals Are You Using?
When considering the above definition, it is good to reconsider what chemicals you are currently using. After this, you can ensure that for each one you have the correct paperwork and chemical handling safety instructions.
Chemicals used in the manufacturing process generally fall into the following categories:
- Acid and materials with high alkaline content
- Cleaning products – especially chlorine bleach
- Glues or pesticides
- Flammable materials such as petrol
If you have any of these chemicals in your workplace, it is imperative that you provide instructions and safety information for each one. Otherwise, it is only a matter of time before a litigation suit is opened against you.
How to Avoid Chemical Accidents in the Workplace
If you are looking to provide tips chemical handlers can use to make their work safer, then the government agency OSHA is a good source of information.
OSHA provides chemical information sheets, chemical safety tips, and guidance regarding the PPE that you should wear when working with specific chemicals.
Since this is a government-backed site, you can be sure that any information you apply for will be compliant with current legislation.
What Is a Chemical Hazard? And Other Important Questions Answered
Whether you are in manufacturing or shipping, knowing your responsibilities towards the materials you are carrying is vital. A simple mistake could lead to injury, death, or at least a litigation case.
Knowing the answer to the question “what is a chemical hazard?” can help you to avoid all of this.
Are you interested in learning even more about these types of topics? Simply head over to our blog page for even more of the same.