Working with hazardous materials is unavoidable in many industries, but doing so every day doesn’t mean that workers can be careless about handling them. Whenever you are working around hazardous materials, it’s critical that you maintain strict safety standards to protect yourself, those around you, and the environment. What are hazardous materials and why do you need to emphasize safety when working around them?
Hazardous Materials 101
Hazardous materials are any substance (biological, chemical, or physical) that can cause damage to the environment, animals, or humans. Common hazardous materials include chemicals, toxic substances, corrosives, and anything that is combustible or flammable. Hazardous materials can cause damage in a variety of ways and are known for harming everything from your skin or lungs to entire buildings.
The main safety concerns with hazardous materials occur in workplaces that have been using and handling those same materials for years without any problem. Why? Because employees don’t treat them with as much care or take the same safety precautions that they did initially. Always be proactive with your hazardous material handling, as seemingly minor errors like improper storage can cause leaks or explosions. Don’t let employees take their duty to protect each other and the workplace less than seriously.
Consider Your Options
Always make a point of following your local and national regulations for storing and handling hazardous materials, but try to go above and beyond to meet more than the bare minimum requirements. What hazardous materials are you storing? Make sure that you fully understand their properties and what other hazardous materials they would react negatively to. Why do you have this hazardous material at your workplace? Conduct regular risk assessments to make sure that you are only storing hazardous materials that you need.
The most important safety rule for handling hazardous materials is taking every possible precaution that you can to prevent injury or damage. Always wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect yourself. For example, you may need to wear goggles to prevent gasses from the hazardous chemicals (or the chemicals themselves) from getting into your eyes. Also, be sure to store hazardous materials in appropriate containers.
Keep Your Business and Employees Safe with Proper Hazardous Waste Disposal
No matter what kind of environmental issue you may have, AEG Environmental can help. We handle every situation with care, dedication, and a commitment to exemplary customer service. When you have an emergency, you can rely on us! Need training? We can handle that too! We train in a wide variety of environmental management areas so that your company can remain compliant with EPA, DOT, and OSHA. Make sure to check out our blog for the latest and greatest in the waste management world! You should also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn for updates.
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