Dangerous chemicals are sometimes a necessity for certain jobs, but they can be an extreme hazard. Breathing in fumes or accidentally splashing a chemical on yourself can cause serious health issues. Most jobs that work with dangerous chemicals have training that is required before you can work with those chemicals. Here are some things to keep in mind about working with dangerous chemicals.

Read Labels

When looking at the chemicals, learn to recognize what the labels mean. There are nine pictograms that represent different levels of hazard. For example, if the label has a flame on it, it means its flammable. This is different from the label that has a flame over a circle. That label represents oxidizing hazards. Knowing the different labels is helpful because you know what kind of hazard is at stake—whether it can cause death from toxicity, or cause damage to the environment.

Take the Proper Precautions

However, knowing the labels is not enough to prevent injury. When working with dangerous chemicals, it is important to take proper precautions. This includes taking training before using a new chemical and wearing the right personal protective equipment. For some chemicals, simply wearing gloves is enough protection. For others, if you even breathe in the fumes, you could be endangering your health. Taking proper precautions will help prevent serious injury when working with dangerous chemicals.

Know What to do if Accidents Occur

All the precautions in the world will not save you or your coworkers if an accident were to happen and chemicals did come into contact with skin, hair, clothing, or even your mouth. Certain chemicals cause a more dangerous reaction than others. If an accident does happen, it is important to get medical care as soon as possible. There are certain things that you can do to help mitigate the impact of the exposure. For example, if your skin is touched by a chemical, rinse it in cold water for twenty minutes. But if it becomes a chemical burn and your symptoms aren’t getting any better, you may need to go to a medical facility for treatment.

Dangerous chemicals are dangerous, which is why it is important to know what precautions to take to prevent injury, and what to do if an accident were to happen. Knowledge is power, and knowledge about the dangerous chemicals you work with can help you keep yourself and others safe.

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