The U.S. Chemical Safety Board is concerned about the number of workers that are victims of workplace injuries involving hazardous chemicals. In Ohio and throughout the country, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration prescribes strict regulations for the handling of chemicals, and every safety violation that federal inspectors identify could result in a citation and a penalty. When it comes to working with chemicals, prevention is always better than cure.

Employees must know of the dangers posed by the different chemical substances. They must learn how to identify different chemicals and the risks posed by each substance, what protective gear is necessary for protection against as well as evacuation and emergency procedures if a spill should occur. If workers know the basics, it will be easier to learn the unique hazards posed by different chemicals. Neat work areas with everything in allocated spaces can prevent accidental slips or trips or knocking over hazardous materials.

Storage plans must clearly indicate which chemicals should be kept separate from others. In the event of a spill, dangerous combinations could cause fires, explosions or burns. By never deviating from storage rules, providing appropriate and adequate safety gear and ensuring each work area where chemicals are used is well ventilated, worker injuries or illnesses can be limited or even eliminated.

Chemical companies in Ohio that have regular spill-response drills (similar to fire drills) will likely also comply with other safety regulations. However, any worker who is a victim of an injury or illness — even if it was not caused by a safety violation — is entitled to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. This will provide financial relief with the high costs of medical treatment and lost wages.

Source: reliableplant.com, “9 Tips for Safely Storing Chemicals“, Lynn Place, Accessed on March 3, 2017