Redox Chemical Industries makes sure that all employees – from the newly hired workers to top management – know what the company’s policies are on chemical safety in the workplace. Workers even undergo PPE training and safety assessment before starting any project.
There have been numerous instances when workers do not follow the set personal protective equipment (PPE) requirements of their company because they feel uncomfortable with it, they feel the equipment is an unnecessary nuisance, it slows them down or simply because they are unaware of how critical this equipment are in protecting them.
However, workforce safety is crucial in every company, and the stakes are higher when the job entails the use of chemicals of any kind.
It is a given that every company has its rules and regulations when it comes to chemical safety in the workplace and PPE. However, certain elements that must be included in each company’s safety rules and regulations.
Here are the most important tips to remember when it comes to chemical safety, use of PPEs and worker safety.
- Have a general SOP: Every company has its standards and uses its particular chemicals, so company manuals vary per company. However, regardless of how different each company is, the standard operating procedure for the correct use of personal protective equipment, the safe handling, use and disposal of chemicals should remain the same for all the chemicals used. For specific chemicals, clear and concise signage, flip charts or specialized literature can be utilized.
- Ensure that each PPE is in the correct size: Even if an employee has a complete set of personal protective equipment, it will be useless if it does not properly fit the user; it might even be more hazardous in the long run.
- Know your PPE: An employee’s personal protective equipment is useful when it is used for what it is intended for. For instance, leather gloves will protect workers against cuts but is ineffective when chemicals are involved. It is crucial that employees know what PPE should be used when handling chemicals.
- Learn the proper care and maintenance of PPEs: A worker’s personal protective equipment can be his/ her best friend and lifesaver, as long as it is properly maintained. Poorly maintained PPEs are a bigger threat to chemical safety in the workplace. For instance, dirty glasses can lead to lower visibility. Gloves with holes will let chemicals seep into a worker’s skin. Workers should learn the proper care and maintenance of the PPEs assigned to them. Each equipment should also be checked thoroughly before each use, and damaged PPEs should never be used.
- Conduct regular training: Even though every worker has attended training in chemical safety before working on a project, their education should be continuous as innovation is mobile. Training should be consistent, not just an introductory presentation done once a year. It should be a regular activity that refreshes worker’s knowledge while adding new information.
Having proper training also means that workers will not forget key information like the location of educational literature about chemical safety, how PPEs are chosen, used and maintained, how to handle chemicals correctly and how to label them correctly.
Chemical safety in the workplace can be challenging, but being aware of the hazards, knowing how to deal with them and putting contingency measures in place will help minimize the danger of working around chemicals and ensure that the workplace is safe for every employee.