Tips and Guidelines for Reducing Risks from Hazardous Substances and Materials 

Too much exposure to chemicals and hazardous materials used in a workplace may lead to short and long-term effects on health like skin rashes, poisoning, and lung, liver, and kidney disorders. 

The good thing is that there’s already training and certifications such as the OSHA training 40 hour. This training will make the employee aware of hazardous substances that usually come in many forms, like powder, solid, dust, liquid, and gas. 

Products may be diluted or pure, and the importers and manufacturers of these hazardous materials must include the safety data sheets and warning labels with the products.

If you want to know more about tips and guidelines to reduce risks from hazardous materials in the workplace, this article will help you. So, without further ado, let’s get started. 

Understanding the Common Hazardous Substances 

There are a lot of hazardous substances or materials in a workplace – whether agricultural, industrial, or even medical. The hazard’s degree depends on the chemical’s concentration, and here’s what you need to know. 

  • disinfectants
  • paint 
  • acids 
  • glues 
  • caustic substances 
  • petroleum products 
  • pesticides 
  • solvents 
  • heavy metals that include lead, mercury, aluminum, and cadmium 

Importance of Labels and Safety Data Sheets for Hazardous Materials and Substances 

Did you know that importers and manufacturers of hazardous substances are legally required to provide labels for warnings and even Safety Data Sheets on the products? 

Employers should ensure that safety data sheets for each hazardous substance used in the workplace must be available to the employees. 

With that, warning labels about the hazardous substance on the material should have a feature:

  • signal words like ‘warning’ and ‘danger.’ 
  • hazard pictograms and statements 
  • precautionary statements 

Also, the safety data sheet comes with a list of important information about the handling of products safely, which includes: 

  • potential health effects
  • precautions for use
  • safe storage suggestions
  • emergency first aid instructions
  • contact numbers for further information.

Tips to Remember for Safe Handling of Hazardous Materials 

Do your staff and employees undergo training and certifications such as OSHA training 40 hour? 

Does your company have policies and procedures for handling hazardous materials? These are the basic rules and things to consider when you work around or handle hazardous materials. 

  • Follow policies and procedures when performing duties as trained.
  • Always plan and be cautious. Remember what could go wrong, and always pay close attention to what you do while you work around or with hazardous materials. 
  • Make use of the PPE provided by the company and check it very carefully before using it to make sure that it’s safe to use. Replace the PPE if it doesn’t provide the right protection. 
  • Ensure all containers are labeled properly, and materials are in the right container. Never use chemicals that are not labeled or contained properly. If containers are damaged, they should be reported immediately to the supervisor. 
  • Read the Safety Data Sheets or the labels carefully before using any material to ensure you understand the precautions and hazards.
  • Never drink or eat while you handle any hazardous material because if your hands are contaminated, you should not use or handle things you used to apply, like cosmetics or contact lenses. 
  • Use materials, particularly for their intended uses. For instance, you should never use solvents in washing your hands or even gasoline in cleaning the equipment. 
  • Always read labels on the chemicals and refer to explain how to deal properly with storing, handling, and cleaning up spills. 
  • Employees should keep themselves and the working area clean, especially after handling hazardous materials. Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water to reduce contamination risks. 
  • Hazardous materials must be stored properly, separated from the incompatibles, and stored in dry, ventilated, and cool areas. 
  • Be familiar with emergency procedures, as well as the equipment. Understanding it also means knowing the evacuation procedures and how to deal with leaks, spills, or fires. It also means you should know what to do in any medical emergency if a co-worker is injured. To know more about this, you may check with OSHA training 40 hour to get a better understanding.
  • Always keep the shower and emergency eyewash stations clean. Have some tests at least once a month to ensure they work properly. Never let the clutter build up around you. 

Wrapping Up

Working in high-risk industries means being more cautious about everything you see around the workplace. It’s always the safety of everyone that matters and by following the guidelines and tips in this blog could help reduce risks associated with hazardous substances and materials. 

Take time to understand risks associated with hazardous materials, like taking the OSHA training 40 hour or certifications. That way, you will understand the safety measures and prevent risks and dangers and to always maintain a safe and healthy working environment.