When working in a chemical manufacturing facility, a high level of precaution should be observed. This is because most of the substances used in industrial purposes can be very volatile and harmful when not handled correctly. This is one reason many companies use their safety rating as one of the most emphasized statistic when running marketing and public relations campaigns. Most even put up billboards in front of the building to tell workers how many days have passed since the last accident occurred. This keeps the workforce motivated and mindful that utmost care should be observed.
Safety in chemical plants doesn't only involve prevention of accidents. One other important aspect of safety to remember is health. When handling hazardous materials, health is always a top concern, especially if substances and chemicals in a plant can cause long-term and life-threatening diseases. Here are a few ways to ensure safety in chemical plants.
- Conduct the necessary worker education programs that each employee needs. Make it as specific as possible to the worker involved. Certain people would have very different working conditions, so different precautions should be taught for each individual and work group.
- When entering the plant, enforce a hard hat and safety rule. Certain parts of the factory should be kept off limits to those who do not have the necessary protective equipment on. Studies have proven that the mere wearing of these items reduce the cost and the amount of lost hours due to injury.
- When working in a lab, require employees to wear protective goggles and gloves. This would reduce their chances of having unnecessary contact with toxic chemicals. You may also instruct chemists to work under a fume hood if a particular procedure causes great toxicity to the environment.
- Keep the floors clean and dry. Slipping in a laboratory can be catastrophic, especially if the person who slips is holding very volatile substances. The simple cleaning of the floors should be more than enough to prevent these kinds of accidents, therefore keeping the workplace a lot safer.
- Maintain a storage unit for things that could be used in case of spillage. There are special absorbent pads and cleaning substances that could be used when chemicals are spilled inside the laboratory. There are also sprays that could be used to neutralize various strong acids and alkali. Keep these close at hand, for emergency cases.
- Always have a plan for emergency evacuation of the building. Should the plant get overwhelmed with toxic substances, the team inside should be able to vacate the premises in the fastest possible time. Conduct test drills to time and evaluate how the plan can be executed. Fine tune this as needed.
- Always know the contingencies when there's an emergency. Make sure that all employees know who to call and who to alert in case of any untoward incident. Have the emergency numbers posted at every room and give the employees little iron cards that have the numbers embossed on them.
Safety is everybody's concern and any manufacturing facility is better off with a united approach to being vigilant and aware.