This page focuses on four critical aspects of industrial chemical safety. It will assist you in meeting your requirements under Australian WHS legislation, as well as influence your entire strategy to workplace safety. Let’s get this party started.
Know what substances you’re using.
Understanding exactly what you’re working with is perhaps the most important step in using chemicals properly. To do so, you’ll need to have the Safety Data Sheet (SDS), which must be provided with each hazardous product by the chemical supplier.
Obtaining the SDS from the source before a new substance gets onsite is a recommended practice every time you start using it at your company. This allows you time to assess the risks and take any necessary adjustments to the work environment, such as purchasing new worker protective gear or putting in a new gas canister storage cage.
The SDS will teach you about the chemical’s characteristics as well as the hazards and risks associated with its use. Because chemicals can have several hazards, such as being toxic if inhaled and flammable, you should read the SDS carefully. And fully comprehending any chemical entails knowing if it is combustible, unsuitable with particular chemicals, or capable of causing an explosion when exposed to heat.
Whenever you know exactly what you’re up against, you’ll be able to:
- Purchase the necessary safety equipment and clothing.
- build the workplace’s structural areas to safely handle the chemical
- create safe operational procedures and ways of work
- Keep the chemical in a secure location away from anything that could spark a reaction.
- Mark the chemical with the appropriate Dangerous Goods labelling.
And, if you understand the full scope of the dangers and hazards associated with employing a toxic substance, you may elect to use something else instead – a compound that is far safer.
Provide the appropriate PPE
You can purchase the essential PPE after you understand a chemical’s hazardous qualities. Personal protection equipment (PPE) protects a worker’s eyes, skin, airways, and entire body against chemical contact when it comes to activities like industrial chemical cleaning.
Any personal protective equipment (PPE) that is required will be specified in the SDS.
- intimate grooming (washing hands, coveralls, aprons)
- security for the skin (rubber boots, chemical resistant gloves)
- safety for the eyes (goggles, eye guards)
- protection for the lungs (air supplied hoods, face masks)
- protection against the elements (flame resistant body suit)
…as well as any safety baths, eyewash units, or specialized first-aid gear that may be required at the workstation.
Securely store chemicals
When many chemicals come into touch with other materials, they react violently, resulting in fires, blasts, and hazardous gas clouds. You must make sure that any harmful chemicals used on your jobsite are stored safely and in accordance with Australian WHS laws.
Begin with the SDS, which will include instructions on how to handle the chemical as well as any unsuitable chemicals that really should be kept separate. Some typical workplace suggestions…
- Keep chemicals away from locations where food is prepared and served.
- Maintain chemicals locked up so that unauthorized personnel or contractors can’t get to them.
- Every chemical should be clearly labelled with the appropriate placard and warning sign.
- Make absolutely sure the storage room is well aired and away from any heat or spark-producing activity.
- Use a special safety cabinet designed exclusively for the chemicals on the job site.
- When cleaning solvents are not in use, make sure they are secured in transportable containers.