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Understanding chemical burns

On Behalf of | Nov 3, 2021 | Workplace Injuries

There are many types of hazards in the workplace. While many employees are concerned with heavy lifting and falling, you face a different kind of hazard at work when you work for a business that uses dangerous chemicals.

You may not see the broken bones or the sprains and strains that other industries face. Still, when you work with different types of chemical baths, there are dangers you may not be able to avoid. There are many precautions for working with chemicals, but sometimes contact is unavoidable.

Here’s what you should know about dealing with a chemical burn at work.

Rinsing is essential

If you work with dangerous chemicals, your workplace should have multiple wash stations. Depending on the type of work, you may only have an eyewash station, or you may have emergency showers and eyewash stations.

If you have contact with a dangerous chemical, it is crucial to find a wash station quickly to minimize the damage. While you may still have a severe chemical burn, the sooner you get the substance off your skin, the less damage it can do.

Talk to your supervisor

Once you have spent several minutes rinsing the exposed area, you need to talk to a boss or supervisor. They can help you follow the next steps for seeking immediate medical care.

Understand the SDS sheets

When your workplace has and uses hazardous chemicals, they must maintain records (Safety Data Sheets) of the substances and information about them, including:

  • Flammability
  • First-aid
  • Safe handling
  • Personal protection equipment (PPE) needed
  • Storage

It is essential to learn about the chemicals you use at work and how to handle them safely. When you understand the risks that come with certain chemicals, you can help yourself, and your coworkers stay safe.