Springtime Yard & Field Maintenance Many industries are coming into their busiest season now--often with increased outdoor work in equipment yards, outside shops, or storage areas. Before peak activities begin is a good time to organize, repair, and clean up these areas. Time to accomplish this will probably be scarce later on. The following checklist may make this job easier: Are chemicals kept in an outside storage facility? If so, are the following in place? Is the written Hazcom Program complete and available to employees? Have all employees been trained in chemical handling and spill clean-up? Are spill clean-up materials available, and...

What Is A Hazardous Material Or Chemical? At one time or other, you and your co-workers have received training on the "Hazard Communication Standard" alerting you to the chemicals in use at your worksite. But everyone should review this information now and then, as a reminder of the need to be cautious. Hazards from chemicals and other materials are everywhere we look-at work and at home. To protect yourself, you should know what type of exposure a particular chemical or material presents. Hazardous materials or chemicals can be classified into two groups, based upon their characteristics, physical hazards and health hazards. Examples...

Hazards Of Solvents We use solvents practically every day in our lives. At work, we may use or be exposed to solvents when we come in contact with paints, coatings while using dip tanks, thinners, degreasers, cleaners, glues or mastics. As a result of this widespread usage, it is important to know some of the hazards that are associated with the group of chemicals, generally called "solvents." For practical purposes, a solvent is simply a liquid capable of dissolving specific solids or liquids. As you know, there are solvents that we use daily that are hazardous. Petroleum-based solvents are the most common...

Hazcom vs. Hazmat vs. Hazardous Waste What Is The Difference????? AT LAST REPORT there were 213,000 chemicals and chemical compounds being used in this country. And each year thousands of new chemical compounds are produced and become part of our lives at home and at work. Nearly 1.5 billion tons of hazardous materials are transported annually in the U.S., over the road or by rail, aircraft or vessel. A lot of these products improve our lives, but many are harmful to our health and to the environment. The trouble is, these substances become so common to us, we are in danger of...

That Container Only Looks Empty! Containers that have held flammable or combustible liquids can remain explosive even after the liquid has been removed. The liquid in the container is replaced by air which mixes with the hazardous vapors. This combination can be explosively ignited by a spark or heat. In fact, these containers are normally more explosive than a full container. How many times have you seen a 5 gallon pail or a 55 gallon drum being used as a welding or grinding stand? This is very dangerous. Any sparks produced could ignite the vapors. Also, the torch flame, heating the container,...

Emergency Eye Wash & Deluge Showers Let's hope you never need one, but if you do let's hope it's clean and accessible. If you get foreign particles in your eyes or a chemical spill on your body, an emergency eyewash station or deluge shower is the most important initial step in first-aid treatment. Chemical burns to the eye are among the most urgent of emergencies. An eyewash/shower is required if: The Safety Data Sheet indicates a chemical in use is caustic, toxic, or corrosive. The SDS informs that serious eye damage may result. Warnings such as "causes chemical burns" or "causes permanent...

Metal Polishing Metal polishing cleans, brightens, and restores solid or plated items made of gold, silver, stainless steel, brass, copper, aluminum, nickel, chrome, or other metals and alloys. Achieving a smooth and shiny finish requires tools like fixed, tabletop, or hand-held grinders, polishers and buffers. Solvents, acids, and various abrasive materials are used to degrease, clean, buff, and polish metals. Metal polishing can create a variety of hazards including chemical exposure, entrapment/entanglement, noise exposure, and ergonomics. For protection, workers should follow safety precautions and use personal protective equipment (PPE). Gloves, safety goggles, and face shields provide protection for the hands and eyes....

Chemical Hazards - Working Safely With Lead It used to be thought that only children were exposed to lead poisoning hazards which occurred mostly from eating lead based paint chips from doors or windows in the home. This is no longer the case. Studies conducted over the past few years now suggest many adults are exposed to lead in the work place and suffer from varying degrees of lead poisoning. These studies have also shown that eating lead based paint chips is not the only or even the primary way for lead to enter the body. Workers that use lead based paints,...

Chemical Storage Is A Matter Of Safety And Common Sense There are many work situations where chemicals are routinely relied upon to get the work done. But just as important as the safe handling of these chemicals, is their safe storage. If not stored properly, chemicals can cause a fire, explosion, or personal injury. There are some real and common sense safe storage procedures that should be followed to keep workers and the workplace free of chemical-related accidents. The most important factor in chemical storage safety is keeping chemicals in their original containers. Next, check that each chemical container has a label....

Metal Plating Safety Metal plating puts metals such as tin, zinc, nickel, chrome, silver, gold, etc. onto a surface to change or protect it. The plating method depends on the surface, the metal(s), and the finished product, but there are common hazards that workers need to know. Chemicals are used to prepare, clean, and degrease the surface before plating. They are also used to apply the metal, clean, and polish the product. You MUST get training in chemical safety and proper work procedures. Read the Safety Data Sheet (SDS) to understand the hazards and safe use of the chemicals. Know how to...