The Importance of OSHA Chemical Safety Standards

Safety and health programs

There are some jobs that need to be completed, despite their level of risk and danger. Factories, chemical spill cleanups, and other chemical type jobs carry many risks. Fortunately, the occupational safety and health administration (OSHA) puts specific rules and regulations on these jobs. The purpose of these strict regulations is to increase safety for employees, job managers, and customers.

Chemical spill cleanup requirements

OSHA has very clear and strict of chemical spill cleanups. If a chemical spill is not properly cleaned up, it can affect the surrounding areas. Additionally, if the chemical spill occurred in an area with customer products or nearby natural resources, like water, the spill can have much more serious of consequences. For this reason, OSHA requires that all chemical spills include specific safety steps and cleanup procedures. The chemicals need to be disposed of properly and all employees need to wear certain chemical garments.

Required chemical attire

Because many chemicals are extremely strong and can get through normal attire, chemical workers are also required to wear certain chemical attire. This attire is for their safety and to prevent the transfer of the chemical product to other areas of the warehouse. Chemical suits are used in the most severe of chemical spills or when handling very toxic chemical products. Chemical suits may not be used in all chemical manufacturing settings.

U.S. factories created $5.3 trillion worth of goods in 2016. That is nearly a third of the nation?s gross domestic product, and more than any other sector. It also means that there are thousands of chemical production plants, each with differing degrees of chemical product. Those with minimal chemical products may be required lesser versions of chemical protection, such as chemical protection coveralls. These coveralls simply protect splashes or minor spill of the product. Chemical suits, on the other hand, are used in the riskiest of chemical environments.

Required safety chemical equipment

Many chemical products can also burn through products, especially plastics. For this reason, very specific of chemical equipment is also used in high manufacturing chemical plants. The industrial safety equipment OSHA standards require that both the equipment and the protective apparel are based on the type of chemical product used. Permeation is the biggest factor that needs to be considered. Permeation is a process by which chemical passes through a protective film (like a glove). Permeation data are presented as two values, breakthrough time and rate. OSHA sets their minimum safety standards based on these two permeable measurements.

The importance of proper face and eye protection

In addition to the protection of clothing and equipment, it is also very important that the eyes and face be properly protected. A single splash of a chemical product can ruin the face or the vision. Rates of those injured in this method are actually high. Thousands of workers are blinded each year from work related injuries that could have been prevented with the proper use of eye and face protection. Another common problem is that eye and face protection is used, but it is not strong enough to protect from the specific type of chemical being used.

OSHA is the acting board that protects workers and consumers from dangerous jobs. There are many jobs that require consistent use of risky chemicals. Working with these chemicals requires proper protection, for the body, face, and eyes. Fortunately, with OSHA safety standards, proper practices and safety can prevent injuries and chemical spills.

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