Why is Toxic Chemical Risk Management Important?
Exposure to toxic chemicals during storing, transporting and disposal can result in injury or illness. If spills occur, containers leak, labels are removed or untrained employees have access to materials, the risk of injury or illness is even greater. To prevent employees from experiencing an unnecessary injury or illness from hazardous exposure to toxic chemicals, share with them the following safety recommendations.
What to Remember When Storing Toxic Chemicals?
- Store chemicals in well-ventilated, well-lit areas with a locked entrance. Check material safety data sheets (MSDS) regarding the proper storage procedures for all toxic chemicals on-site.
- Store chemicals away from personal protective equipment (PPE), especially respirators.
- Know what toxic chemicals are incompatible, and keep them away from each other.
- Be mindful that some chemicals contain solvents that can escape into the air and release harmful vapours unless their containers are properly sealed.
- Store toxic chemicals only in their original manufactured containers with the original labels. If a toxic chemical’s label should come off, replace it immediately.
- Place clean-up tools close to the chemical storage facility including water, soil, absorbent pillows and sand.
- Keep pesticides separate from animal feed, fertilizer, seeds, water and incompatible toxic chemicals.
How to Transport Toxic Chemicals?
- Do not transport toxic chemicals with animal feed, food, water or incompatible chemicals.
- Secure chemicals in their proper containers on the vehicle before proceeding so they cannot move, fall or break.
- Keep a detailed record of the toxic chemicals you are transporting.
- While transporting hazardous substances, bring the appropriate PPE for handling purposes.
How to Dispose of Toxic Chemicals?
- Before dumping any chemical, read through the MSDS and the manufacturer’s label regarding toxicity to animals and plants. Also, note the proper way to dispose of any leftover substances and the container.
- Rinse the container at least three times to remove all traces of the substance. Then, crush the empty container.
- Empty hazardous waste containers require special handling. Familiarize yourself and follow our hazardous waste recycling procedures to ensure everyone’s safety.
If employees have limited experience with toxic chemicals, they should leave the handling, storing, transporting and disposal to an expert. Without training, they are putting themselves at risk for injury or illness.