Weekly Safety Meeting – Chemical Safety Tips


Chemicals are a major part of our everyday life at work. Examples include toxics, corrosives, solvents, and numerous other substances. As long as we take proper precautions, these substances can be handled safely.

We are exposed to chemicals by:

  • Inhalation – Breathing in dusts, mists, and vapors

    Example: Working with bags of concrete at home without a respirator

  • Ingestion – Eating contaminated food.

    Example: Having lunch in the work area where there are airborne contaminants

  • Absorption – Skin contact with a chemical 

    Example: Contact dermatitis or an eye irritation

  • Injection – Forcing an agent into the body through a needle or a high-pressure device 

          Example: Needle stick or misuse of a high-pressure washer

You can protect yourself against chemical hazards by:

  • Reading container labels, safety data sheets (SDSs), and safe-work instructions before you handle a chemical.

  • Using specified personal protective equipment (PPE) that may include chemical-splash goggles, a respirator, safety gloves, apron, steel-toed shoes, safety glasses with side shields, etc. Ensure that the PPE fits properly and you are trained in its use;

  • Inspecting all PPE before you use them. Look for defects in the equipment such as cracks, missing parts, rips, etc. Ensure your respirator has the proper chemical cartridge for the particular chemical hazard. Change cartridges when it is necessary;

  • Knowing the location of safety showers and eyewash stations and how to use them.

  • Washing your hands before eating, especially after handling chemicals.

  • Leaving your contaminated clothing at work. If you wear the clothes home, you can expose your family to the hazards.

Risk -­ is it worth it? 

Download flyer: SMOTW_Chemical Safety Tips.pdf (140.84 kb)

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