Hazards in Chemical Laboratories

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Hazards in Chemical Laboratories

Each workplace has potential hazards. Chemical laboratories have many potential hazards, so employees must be properly trained. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has standards in place to keep employees safe. Keep reading to learn about the hazards in chemical laboratories.

Chemical Burns

Employees that work in chemical labs deal with a variety of chemicals. Chemical reactions can generate heat, which can lead to chemical burns. To ensure that employees have enough information about each chemical, Safety Data Sheets should be always accessible. Employees should always review the SDS before working with new chemicals.

The SDS contains sixteen sections, so it’s full of pertinent information. There’s a section titled “First Aid” that explains the necessary treatment for someone who’s been exposed to a specific chemical. There’s also a section on “Accidental Release” that explains what to do if there’s a spill. Another important section labeled “Stability and Reactivity” explains how to avoid hazardous reactions. These are just a few of the sections mentioned in the SDS.

Toxic Fumes

Toxic fumes are another hazard in chemical laboratories because inhaling certain chemicals is dangerous. For example, many solvents are toxic. To ensure employees are safe while on the job, there must be proper ventilation in the laboratory. Employees working with toxic chemicals must wear the proper PPE to ensure their safety.

Fire or Explosion

A fire or explosion are two of the most dangerous hazards in chemical laboratories. Since mixing certain chemicals can cause an explosion, it’s important to be cautious. Employees should always determine the hazard before mixing chemicals. They should also know what to do and who to contact if an accident occurs. The results of a fire or explosion could be fatal, so employees should always wear the proper PPE. Flame-resistant clothing is required in many industries because it helps keep employees safe.

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