Safety Tip of the Week – Corrosive Safety

In the workplace it is possible that you may have an opportunity to work with corrosive substances. You may work with products such as cleaning materials that could be corrosives, like hydrochloric acid, sulfuric acid, acetic acid, or nitric acid. Many common products contain alkaline/bases, such as ammonium hydroxide, potassium hydroxide, or sodium hydroxide (caustic soda). In construction a common material is cement, which contains lime. Lime is a caustic material or base.

Recommended Work Practices:

  • Obtain and read the SDS for all of the materials you work with;
  • Be aware of all of the hazards (fire, health, reactivity) of the materials you work with;
  • Know which of the materials you work with are corrosives;
  • Wear the proper personal protective equipment when working with corrosive materials;
  • Store corrosives in suitable containers away from incompatible materials;
  • Store, handle, and use corrosives in well-ventilated areas;
  • Handle containers safely to avoid damaging them;
  • Dispense corrosives carefully and keep containers closed when not in use;
  • Stir corrosives slowly and carefully into cold water when the job requires mixing corrosives and water;
    • Rule to remember: AAA – Always Add Acids to water – this also applies to bases.
  • Handle and dispose of corrosive wastes safely;
  • Practice good housekeeping, personal cleanliness, and equipment maintenance;
  • Know how to handle emergencies (spills, fires, injuries) involving corrosive materials;
  • Always follow the health and safety rules that apply to your job; and
  • If you should get corrosive material on you, remove any contaminated clothing, rinse yourself off immediately, and seek medical attention.

OSHA requires that whenever the eyes or body of any person may be exposed to injurious corrosive materials, suitable facilities for quick drenching or flushing of the eyes and body for at least 15 minutes shall be provided within the work area for immediate emergency use.

Download flyer: STOTW_1041_Corrosive_Safety
Download Spanish flyer: STOTW_1041_Corrosive_Safety_esp

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