Corrosive chemicals can burn, irritate, or destructively attack living tissue. When inhaled or ingested, lung and stomach tissues are affected. Materials with corrosive properties can be either acidic (low pH) or basic (high pH).
Cleaning compounds may contain acids or bases. Before using a material, always read the Safety Data Sheet (SDS) to know what is in the material and to learn how to use it safely.
Safe Work Practices:
- Obtain and read the SDS for all the materials you work with;
- Be aware of all 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 safety 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.
SAFETY IS A STATE OF MIND…ACCIDENTS ARE AN ABSENCE OF MIND!
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