Automotive industry is very specific for many reasons. Production process is a complex one and you have to be very careful and cautious especially because of the constant use of hazardous chemicals.
Every step of the production process has to be dealt with thoroughly. Even the usual activities such as cleaning automotive parts needs to be done perfectly.
During the processing operation employees work with extremely hazardous chemicals which can be health risky if you are exposed. There are many different forms of these chemicals, such as various liquids, powders, solids, gases, etc. How bad they can be for your health depends on their form and the way they get in contact with your body.
Employees can have some serious and some less serious health problems when being exposed to these harmful chemicals, even if they are not manifested right away.
The most common risks for employees’ health include poisoning, chemical burns, irritation and even cancer. Also, lungs, skin and nervous system can be affected by the unprotected exposure to hazardous chemicals.
Protecting your employees is extremely important. In order to do this properly and to keep your workplace safe here is a list of steps to follow to reduce risks and limit the chances of accidents happening.
1. Categorise and Label the Chemicals
If you want to reduce potential risks from chemical accidents first step is to make a good inventory of all the chemicals used in the workplace.
By reading the labels of the chemicals you can find out way more about them and then you can classify them in the best possible way. When you know the exact chemical composition you know how to prevent potential hazards.
Furthermore, all the employees have to understand what type of dangerous substance they are dealing with in order to work safely. You achieve this by teaching them what label components, hazard statements and other useful programs are. It is always good to use some illustrations since it is easier for them to learn in that way.
Labels are extremely important since they give the info about contents of a certain container. Employees can immediately realise whether the chemical is hazardous or not. Make sure that all the containers are labelled properly.
However, if the content of the container cannot be identified then it should be properly disposed in accordance with the professional chemical waste disposal statues for hazardous waste.
One of the methods you can use for labelling dangerous hazardous substances is to make a label with bold caution sign since it can be seen by every employee in the workplace.
2. Assess Risk
Risk assessment might be the best way to get the idea what should be implemented to control potential risks in the workplace.
A thorough risk assessment includes:
- The potential risks employees face
- The lapses in the safety measures
- What to do to prevent accidents from happening
However, don’t forget to assess the working condition of equipment used in the workplace in order to prevent any accidents. With all this info you can then thoroughly plan in advance, reduce potential risks and improve the safety measures for employees.
3. Put Away Hazardous Chemicals
This is a great idea to reduce the people’s exposure to dangerous chemicals. Also, chemicals should be kept away from other chemicals since some of them can cause an explosion when mixed together.
So, the best thing to do is to keep them in different locations and separate containers.
Hazardous chemicals can be kept away safely in the following ways:
- Using sealed and safe containers
- Put potentially hazardous chemicals in an isolated place far away from people
- Allow only trained employees to enter the areas with hazardous chemicals
Also, hazardous chemicals have to be kept away from food, drinks, clothes, toilets, medication and sources of drinking water.
4. Find Alternatives
Although automotive industry is a specific one when it comes to using chemicals, there must be some alternatives which are less hazardous. For example, you can use less flammable substances instead of highly flammable ones. In that way you can reduce a great number of possible accidents.
Another example refers to the use of pastes instead of chemicals in powdered form since the powdered ones can be extremely dangerous when inhaled.
5. Keep the Workplace Clean
All the machines that come in contact with hazardous chemicals have to be properly cleaned for everyone’s safety. Chemical residues can cause harm to workers so they have to be removed completely.
Here, we can help you. Alsco’s Ecosafe Washer is both safe and economical solution for cleaning all types of dirt – oils, greases and hazardous chemicals. And it can be done without the need for harmful solvents.
To make sure your workplace is safe call Alsco today and we will help you find perfect green and healthy solutions.