5 Vital Safety Tips for Handling Hazardous Chemicals

Just because some products are easily accessible at local stores, it doesn’t mean they’re safe to handle.

There are several dangerous household chemicals ranging from poisonous to flammable.

Mishandling these hazardous chemicals could lead to injuries and other health risks. In 2018, there were over two million cases of human exposure to common poisons, primarily children.

However, these chemicals can be necessary for our day to day life for cleaning, pest control, and more. Keep reading for our top five vital safety tips for handling these chemicals responsibly.

1. Take Your Time

In military CQB training, they have a saying – “Slow is smooth, smooth is fast.” The philosophy behind this somewhat contradictory statement is all about precision. Essentially, when we rush jobs, projects, or operations, we tend to get sloppy.

When Handing hazardous chemicals, getting sloppy could result in a myriad of negative outcomes. Most of which pertain to your health and the safety of those in the house. It may help to incorporate safety data sheet management if you handle these products on a regular basis.

2. Protect Your Eyes

One of the biggest risks of dangerous liquids is their potential to splash into your face and eyes. Some hazardous chemicals are so potent that eye exposure could lead to temporary or permanent blindness.

We recommend wearing full-coverage safety goggles anytime you’re working with chemicals – liquid, powdered, or otherwise.

3. Protect Your Skin

Next, remember that corrosives are a health hazard, even when they only make contact with your skin. They can cause mild to severe chemical burns, especially if contact goes unnoticed.

Wear thick protective gloves and cover up any exposed skin with protective clothing. Make sure you remove this clothing when you’re finished. If the chemical gets on the sleeve and you later wipe your face, it could have negative side effects.

4. Protect Your Lungs

Many people don’t realize that some hazardous chemicals also emit toxic gases when used. This can be especially dangerous for people working indoors or in areas with low ventilation.

We recommend wearing a protecting facemask specifically designed to block out harmful gases. You should also ensure the area has plenty of ventilation. Open doors and windows to ensure airflow.

5. Educate Yourself On Emergency Protocols When Dealing With Hazardous Chemicals

Finally, make sure you know what to do in case of an emergency. During an emergency is not the time for learning – be prepared.

Some hazardous chemicals are flammable household items, which can lead to devastating fires and worse. When working with these products, be sure to have a fire extinguisher on hand.

Additionally, have the number for poison control posted nearby or saved into your phone. You should also set up a chemical washing station in case you get chemicals in your eyes or on your skin.

Here is a common hazardous chemical list for reference:

  • Bleach
  • Ammonia
  • Anti-freeze
  • Air-fresheners
  • Drain cleaners
  • Upholstery and carpet cleaners
  • Paint
  • Motor oil
  • All-purpose cleaners
  • Windshield wiper fluid
  • Batteries

As you can see, your home is literally full of potentially hazardous chemicals.

Looking for More Great Information?

Having hazardous chemicals in your home is often a necessity. However, it doesn’t have to be dangerous. Make sure you take the above precautions whenever dealing with dangerous household chemicals.

And if you’re looking for more great advice or information, be sure to check out some of our other articles before you go.