How to Avoid Making Safety Errors When Using Cleaning Chemicals
Whether you're purchasing cleaning supplies for your home or business, understanding the risks that come with using cleaning chemicals is worthwhile. From those that you should only use in well-ventilated areas to avoiding toxic waste disasters, having the right knowledge will make your purchasing decisions easier. Additionally, you'll enhance safety in your workplace.
Make sure you and your employees understand how potent each chemical is
As a rule, the more potent a chemical is, the more likely employees are to suffer from toxic fumes. Similarly, individuals who fall into certain categories (such as persons who are pregnant) may need to avoid them altogether.
Once you know how potent your cleaning chemicals are, make sure you use them in environments with adequate ventilation. A cleaning supply's potency will usually affect the respiratory system. As such, inviting extra oxygen into the room or providing masks that limit exposure can lower the number of acute and long-term risks a user encounters.
Introduce safe working practices when using cleaning supplies
Alongside wearing masks that limit the inhalation of fumes, you may want to provide other protective materials. For example:
- Eye protection
At the same time, consider introducing a response plan for if someone uses cleaning chemicals incorrectly. For example, if an employee doesn't follow procedure, having a designated first aid handler available who can administer eyewash should reduce their likelihood of toxic damage. When you use them correctly and have contingency plans in place, the majority of cleaning supplies are safe.
Familiarise yourself and others with the labels on cleaning chemicals
Today, Australian and international regulations dictate that safety labels must be featured on cleaning chemicals. Fortunately, including such labels gives you an advantage, especially when you want to take a risk-averse approach to their use.
Some labels, for example, will tell you whether they're corrosive. Similarly, they will highlight information regarding transport, interactions with other substances, and additional important information. Arming yourself with the meanings behind each label is an excellent way to prevent safety errors.
Don't worry about seeking medical advice
If a chemical comes into contact with your skin, eyes, or another area of your body, don't delay seeking medical advice. In the majority of cases, the clinician you approach won't find that there's any damage. But, seeking their recommendations and treatment promptly keeps you and your employees safe.
If you're not sure which cleaning supplies you need, or if the ones you're considering are appropriate for your environment, always ask a professional supplier. With the right degree of information, you'll reach the pinnacle of cleaning chemical efficiency and safety.