What are chemical hazards?
A chemical hazard is a chemical substance that could potentially cause harm to the human body or even cause loss of life. According to OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), chemical hazards and toxic substances pose a wide range of short- or long-term health effects (such as irritation, sensitization, and carcinogenicity) and physical hazards (such as flammability, corrosion, and explosibility), therefore, safety and avoiding these hazards are always a key priority.1
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How to protect against chemical hazards?
For workers in the chemical industry, occupational exposure to hazardous substances mandate the use of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) to significantly reduce the risks of exposure to chemicals.
Most manufacturers use different types of chemicals daily and often in high volumes. Hence, to ensure a safe working environment, there are various SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures), engineering controls, and safety practices that must be strictly followed, especially when it involves the safe handling of chemicals. Additionally, workers are required to check all chemical labels and safety data sheets before each task, and safety managers must conduct risk assessments and disseminate hazard communications throughout the workplace to encourage safe work practices all-around.
How do chemical hazards occur?
To understand the nature of chemical hazards, it is important to know the potential means for contamination (such as vapor, spray, splash, and immersion); and the route of exposure to the worker (such as inhalation or skin absorption).
High chemical work environments typically involve the most aggressive chemicals (such as aldehydes, ketones, and esters) which require a higher level of chemical hand and body protection, especially when protecting against liquid or strong jets of chemicals. Low chemical work environments include chemical-resistant gloves and clothing designed to safeguard against splashes or light sprays of chemicals or solid particles. Ultimately, it is imperative that workers in chemical industries remain properly equipped with the right PPE offering multiple levels of protection against different types of chemicals.
How Ansell can help?
Ansell’s world-leading portfolio of multi-hazard PPE, and our expertise in chemical permeation knowledge, can ensure workers in the chemical industry are kept safe. Our consultive service, AnsellGUARDIAN®, helps companies improve safety and reduce costs by selecting and implementing the right PPE. Interested in learning more about chemical hazards or our AnsellGUARDIAN® service?Learn more about AnsellGUARDIAN®