It’s an employer’s responsibility to identify all potential hazards, and to ensure that the company meets state and federal compliance requirements. Depending on your company and industry, some of those hazards may include hazardous materials. In addition to providing rigorous initial training for employees who will handle hazardous materials, your company can protect your workers by providing frequent reminders and continuing training opportunities.
Check for container labeling.
Before handling any container that may contain hazardous materials, employees should always check the label. Any container that is damaged, lacks a label, or has an illegible label should be promptly reported to the supervisor. The labeling information, along with the MSDS information will alert employees to the potential hazards and necessary precautions.
Use personal protective equipment (PPE).
Employees must be provided with the proper PPE and trained on its use. Employees should get into the habit of carefully inspecting all PPE items prior to use. Worn out or damaged PPE should be replaced promptly, as it won’t provide sufficient protection from hazardous materials.
Prevent contamination and cross-contamination risks.
Employees should be provided with the necessary cleaning equipment in order to keep their work surfaces clean. All work surfaces should be cleaned at least once per shift to reduce the risk of contamination. Employees should be reminded to wash up with soap and water after handling any hazardous materials. They should also be reminded to avoid eating or drinking anything, or handling cosmetics or contact lenses if there is a possibility that their hands are contaminated.
Understand emergency protocols.
Every company must have established emergency protocols. These should include evacuation procedures, emergency reporting procedures, and protocols for handling fires, spills, and chemical toxicity. All new employees should be thoroughly trained on these procedures, and additional training may be conducted to remind veteran employees.
HDS Safety Services is a trusted provider of comprehensive transportation industry safety and compliance solutions. We build, audit, and maintain driver qualification files, and conduct federal and state audits of company-wide safety programs. Partner with HDS Safety Services today by calling our headquarters in Tucson at (520) 622-0419.