Hazardous substances are chemicals that have the potential to cause ill-health. This can be due to the presence of toxins, oxidizers, irritants, radioactivity, sensitizing agents, carcinogens, corrosives, or other highly reactive substances in the chemicals or mixtures used. There are many different industries that require workers to handle these types of substances and for those people, it is imperative to have a clear understanding of the substances and how to handle them in a safe manner. Not just for their own safety, but for the safety of others in their work too.
An oxidizing agent, for example, is a substance that can cause or contribute to the combustion of other material and can be dangerous to work with due to its unpredictable nature. Some examples of materials that are marked with ‘oxidizer’ warning labels are pool chlorine packaging, bags of fertilizer and even household bleach. On their own they are relatively safe to handle, however, can easily turn deadly when combined with other chemicals. This is why training is so important when handling any type of reactive chemical.
A good and nearly tragic example of the deadly new hazard introduced when chemicals mix is when a proprietary acid based cleaning chemical fails to get your shower cubicle clean and white, so you may be tempted to reach for the bleach to complete the job……………big mistake! These two chemicals mix together react and release chlorine gas, which is the very same gas that was used to kill and maim the enemy during the First World War.
It’s not uncommon for workers to be trained ‘in-house’ and more often than not, this is where accidents, injuries, and even death can occur due to insufficient training or simply using ‘guesswork’. Business owners and managers hold a responsibility for the safety of their workers and as part of their duty should enlist the help of a hazardous chemicals consultant to provide hazardous chemical awareness and hazardous area classification training.
At Hazmat Services, safety is our number one priority. We are passionate about providing our clients expert knowledge and advice to ensure all workers return home safely to their families at the end of their working day.
Contact our team today for more information.