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Chemical Awareness & Storage

November 21, 2014

Many companies use hazardous chemicals in their production, manufacturing and maintenance processes.  These companies must be sure to implement control measures to reduce the risk of harm to employees.

First of all, wherever possible the need for the hazardous chemical should be removed from the process.  If this is not practical then it may be possible to source a less hazardous alternative.

At this stage of selecting a new product, a thorough analysis of the material safety data sheet (SDS) is required, now although the quality of SDS has improved greatly in recent years, they may not be 100% accurate.  The manufacturer may have changed the ingredients of a chemical without updating the SDS and of course there is room for human error.

It is advisable to conduct a controlled trial of the product to ensure that it does not introduce any new hazards and does the job that it is supposed to.  This is where your operatives are worth their weight in gold as they alone can comment on the impact this change will have on their day to day productivity.  Safety representatives, manager, engineers should also be consulted to ensure no oversights are made.

Staff who are required to work with, or are exposed to the hazardous chemical should receive training on how to work with the product safely and should know the risk factors involved in doing so.  Emergency response teams must be trained and on standby to deal with any problems as they occur.  Their standard procedures must be supported by emergency response plans which should be updated through regular testing of simulated incident.

What is often forgotten in daily handling is the improper storage of product or material. Hazardous materials are therefore always a current topic for every laboratory. Apart from the proper handling strict storage regulations must be observed. The current storage cabinets provide local storage close to the workplace similar to cabinets shown below.

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The final resort in controlling hazardous chemicals is the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) such as protective gloves, goggles and ventilation masks to shield the wearer from the ill effects of any chemicals they are working with.

If you require information on Training, PPE and our full range of EN14470-1 compliant cabinets please do not hesitate to call any of our Sales Team on  020 8 704 1807.

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