A spill of a chemical could immediately endanger you and your co-workers who are near the spill. It may even present a danger to others within the facility and possibly even those in the nearby community. It may also contaminate the environment. You can reduce this risk if you have the knowledge of how to prevent a spill in the first place.
To begin, it is important to always know the substances that you work with in your workplace. Be knowledgeable about the hazards and risks that they may present if they are not properly handled. Read the labels and the safety data sheet, known as an SDS, before handling any chemicals. The SDS will explain the hazards associated with the use of the chemical, including safe practices and procedures for use. Always use the proper personal protective equipment, known as PPE, when handling any hazardous chemical. Be sure to maintain your PPE properly. Your company is required to train you in the specific hazards and safe handling techniques for the chemicals that you use or may be exposed to in your workplace. Be sure to pay close attention to this training and implement what you learn.
Proper and regular inspection of chemical containers and storage areas is also necessary. Look specifically for leaking, damaged, or deteriorating containers. Containers with holes, dents, or rust must be addressed as well. Be alert and if you encounter a hazard or potentially troublesome situation, report it immediately. All employees can follow these basic safe practices when working with and handling hazardous chemicals. Do not open or handle containers without the proper PPE. You should use the proper tools when opening containers, such as chemical drums. Only remove as much chemical as you need at one time from the container. Keep containers closed and caps firmly in place when not in use. In addition, only use containers that have legible labels firmly in place.
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