Whether in Pennsylvania or another state, facilities with hazardous chemicals have the same priorities, so chemical handlers and employers alike will want to consider and incorporate the following 11 safety rules. They are basic and given in no particular order.
Assuming that employers provide adequate training, employees must follow all established practices. Before working, they should be able to think ahead to any potential risks. Since fires and spills can occur, employers should have emergency procedures in place. These procedures should cover the treating of injuries, the evacuation of workers and the process of incident reporting.
Fourth, workers should be told to never eat or drink while working with hazardous materials. They should not touch contact lenses or use cosmetics with contaminated hands. Fifth, they are to wash their hands with soap and water as well as clean work surfaces at least once during their shift to prevent contamination. Providing personal protective equipment is another essential step.
Materials should be stored in the proper containers and properly labeled. Workers should refer to the label and the material safety data sheet before working with materials, and they should also do this to identify hazards beforehand. Employers should designate a cool, dry, ventilated area for storage. Lastly, no material should be used for anything other than its intended purpose.
Employers can institute these rules and still see accidents in their facility as employees themselves can choose to disregard workplace safety and injure themselves. In such cases, victims can still receive workers’ compensation benefits; this will, of course, waive their right to sue their employer for the same incident, and it may only pay out a portion of their lost wages. Victims might choose to hire a lawyer for the filing process and for assistance with an appeal if the claim is denied.