Tips on Safely Handling Hazardous Chemicals

Here are a few basic rules all personnel should know and follow in safely handling hazardous materials.

  1. Personnel must follow established safety procedures and job functions as they have been trained to do.

  2. Planning ahead goes a long way. Always have options in your work. It is better for a plan to fail and have a back up option than fail to plan.

  3. Use required PPE at all times. Make sure to have a routine inspection as well of all safety equipment and make sure to replace worn out or damaged ones. Worn out or damaged safety equipment may endanger your life or the life of others.

  4. Label all containers and use appropriate material for the containers in relation to what will be stored in them. Make sure to inspect the containers routinely and to report any damaged containers right away.

  5. Always read material safety data sheets before handling any material to understand the precautions needed.

  6. The same rule applies as with using tools, always use the right materials or chemicals for the intended purpose. 

  7. Store all chemicals or substances properly. Separate any incompatible substances or materials. Store in dry and properly ventilated areas.

  8. Never eat or drink while handling any material or substance.

  9. Keep your work area clean at all times. Clean work surfaces daily to avoid risks of contamination. Always wash thoroughly with soap and water after handling any material.

  10. Learn and understand emergency procedures and equipment. It pays to know what to do in such cases where potential environmental and physical harm is a possibility.