Keeping Employees Safe While Working with Harmful Materials
[This article was written by Brooke Chaplan.]
As an employer, it is your job to provide a safe working environment for your employees. Creating a safe environment means that you take reasonable steps to identify and mitigate hazards before workers arrive on a job site or before they perform a task. Let’s take a look at how you can minimize or eliminate the hazards employees may encounter while interacting with dangerous chemicals or other materials.
Provide Your Workers with Adequate Training
Employees who have received adequate training are less likely to make mistakes that result in an injury or illness. Ideally, workers will be taught how to read warning labels and how to prevent liquids from spilling or splashing while they are being poured. They should also be taught how to use and dispose of protective equipment such as masks, respirators or gloves.
Make Sure Protective Equipment Is Always Available
Ideally, you’ll have an ample supply of gloves, goggles and masks for your people to wear while handling toxic or otherwise hazardous materials. It is also important that they have access to eye washing stations or decontamination showers. This can help protect a person from serious injury if a mask falls off or a glove rips.
Install a Ventilation System
A ventilation system will help to replace contaminated air produced in a lab, warehouse or other confined working environment with clean air. In many cases, these systems will make use of industrial vacuum pumps or similar tools to do their jobs in an efficient manner. Portable ventilation systems or ventilation hoods can also be used to help employees breathe better while working in cramped spaces.
Keep Work Areas Clean
Individuals who are working with harmful or hazardous materials shouldn’t have to worry about slipping, tripping or falling. You can prevent these types of accidents by ensuring that floors are dry and free of cables, wires or other debris. It is also important that emergency exits are not blocked by boxes or other items that may be difficult or cumbersome to move.
A safe working environment makes it easier for your people to focus on doing their jobs to the best of their ability. Furthermore, implementing safety protocols is an effective way to show that you care about your people, which will help to improve morale and minimize turnover in your company. Ultimately, your business will save money in the long run, and that money can be used to help make your company an even safer place to work.
Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She recommends looking into industrial vacuum pumps. She loves the outdoors and spends most of her time hiking, biking, and gardening. For more information, contact Brooke via Facebook at facebook.com/brooke.chaplan or Twitter @BrookeChaplan