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Safety Considerations for Chemical Industries

The chemical industry is comprised of companies that produce industrial chemicals by converting raw materials into different products. It contributes $5.7 trillion dollars (7%) of the world’s GDP. Did you know that there are over 159 million chemicals registered with CAS and approximately 10,000 new chemicals are added every day? There are 120 million workers in the Chemical industry and many of them come in contact with significant hazards every day. It’s critical to understand the complexities of new chemicals, chemical reactions and new chemical combinations to ensure safety in chemical manufacturing so that workers can be equipped with the most appropriate hand and body protection.

INDUSTRY HAZARDS

Workers in chemical industries are exposed to hazards in a variety of ways. To understand the risks from exposure to chemicals, it is important to know the potential means for contamination, such as vapour, spray, splash and immersion, and the route of exposure to the worker, such as inhalation or skin absorption. Many studies from OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) have shown that absorption of chemicals through the skin can occur without being noticed by the worker. Additionally, many workers in the chemical industry encounter additional risks, beyond just chemical exposure in their jobs while working with various tools, processes and applications. 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.

Ansell Solutions

Ansell offers PPE solutions designed to protect against the highest levels of risk from hazardous chemicals and biological agents in medium to heavy duty applications. This type of PPE protects against liquid or strong jets of chemicals.
Low chemical protection includes chemical resistant gloves and clothing designed to safeguard against splash or light sprays of chemicals or solid particles. This type of PPE is meant to be used in light duty applications.
These products are designed for jobs that require precision handling for workers exposed to cut risks from sharp tools or objects across a range of applications. They address ongoing needs for chemical protection and comfort with the added benefit of cut protection.
Exposure to heat creates significant danger for workers in chemical industries. Ansell’s industry-leading chemical protection portfolio offers solutions following the appropriate standards when working in hot conditions with needed chemical resistance, while decreasing the risk of burn injuries.
Working in cold temperatures can cause hypothermia or dangerous body overcooling. There is also a risk of frostbite or freeze of the extremities (fingers and toes). The risk increases when temperatures go below 50°F/10°C. Ansell offers chemical resistant solutions that also protect and perform in cold conditions.
Workers in chemical industries often need to make precise, repetitive movements that can cause strain to wrists, hands and fingers, leading to the risk of musculoskeletal injury. They may also have the need to wear protective body suits for a prolonged period of time. Ansell offers ergonomic solutions that ease musculoskeletal stress and enhance range of motion to reduce stress on joints, tendons and ligaments with Ansell’s propriety ERGOFORM™ Technology.
As a result of COVID-19, workplaces must consider the need to protect against the spread of illness and viral infection. Ansell offers a wide range of solutions that comply with the World Health Organization’s guidance regarding infection prevention and control. In order to make an informed decision, product purchasers and users should stay abreast of the latest and most complete information regarding appropriate PPE to protect against COVID-19 and other viruses in their specific environments and applications.

Tools & Resources

Permeation, Degradation and Penetration Video Explanation

Manufacturing workers in many industries are routinely exposed to hazardous chemicals. This video explains the differences between permeation, penetration and degradation and shows how to keep workers safe.
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Microchem Technology Video

MICROCHEM Chemical Barrier Technology combines polymers in proprietary multi-layer structures specific to their application, providing superior protection to wearers in chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear environments.
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