Chemicals are a part of every business’s work environment, and employees are regularly exposed to inks, toners and adhesives, not to mention all sorts of materials used for cleaning maintenance. Exposure can cause many hazards ranging from mild irritations to cancer. Managing these chemicals brings real benefits that will help your company stay safe – and that’s where we come in.
Lucas Products supplies industry-grade chemical hazard signs so you can protect your employees and maintain a safe and productive work environment. With our solutions, you can be confident that your employees can have confidence in handling hazardous material, and you can avoid any severe incidents.
What Are the Main Types of Chemical Hazards?
When it comes to hazardous chemicals, it’s essential to recognise each so you can protect yourself and others from the many negative impacts that might occur. While some workplaces have minimal exposure to chemicals, others might incorporate more stringent security measures.
Here are the main types of chemicals and how they can become a health hazard.
Corrosives can impact both materials and humans upon contact. They can cause significant damage when mixed with other chemicals, which is why it’s vital to ensure people wear adequate protection when dealing with substances such as sodium hydroxide and sulfuric acid.
Two of the most dangerous asphyxiants are carbon monoxide and cyanide. Both can cause severe side effects, including respiratory irritation. In extreme cases, long-term exposure to carbon monoxide can be fatal.
Hydrogen cyanide is particularly dangerous, and it can cause death within a few seconds if a person inhales it.
Sensitisers cause an allergic reaction if people are exposed to them for too long. While some cause minor reactions such as rashes and colds, others might have long term impacts such as lung disease and contact dermatitis.
Irritants are often considered by many to be a less severe form of health hazard, but these irritants can cause severe reactions in people. In some cases, a person might develop a cough, redness or rashes, but there have been some severe reactions such as haemorrhaging, which can be fatal.
Mutagens are highly dangerous hazardous substances because they can cause genetic changes to cells and damage the organs. These genetic alterations can make a person more susceptible to cancer.
It’s estimated that there are 200 carcinogens, all of which have one thing in common; they can cause cancer. While the reaction isn’t immediate, exposure to these hazardous chemicals can significantly increase your cancer risks later on in life.
Flammable gas and materials are probably the most well-known chemical substance because they ignite upon exposure to oxygen. In some cases, this can cause a fire, but this can lead to explosions which can be fatal.
If you’ve ever heard of the Thalidomide crisis, you’ll know that tetrogens can cause long-term health effects in children. They impact the development of a fetus, resulting in severe congenital disabilities. It’s essential to let people know that they might put their baby at risk around these chemicals.
Chemical hazards that create a reaction when mixed with air and water are reactive elements. You’ll probably know that silane and nitric acid are the two of the most common reactive chemicals.
Why Chemical Hazard Signs are Essential
When working around these substances, chemical safety is essential to ensure minimal risk of anyone getting hurt. There are many things you can do to promote health and safety in the workplace, including:
Training your employees
Ensuring there’s a comprehensive selection of reading materials and safety manuals
Promoting a secure environment
Sectioning off hazardous areas
Using chemical signage
There are various reasons why chemical signage is vital in the workplace. First and foremost, it helps to protect employees from potential accidents. By displaying warning labels, employers can ensure that employees know any hazards associated with a particular chemical. This allows employees to take the necessary precautions to avoid potential injuries.
In addition, chemical signage can also help protect employers from legal action. If an accident occurs, displaying warning labels can help demonstrate that the employer took the necessary steps to keep employees safe. This can be helpful in cases where legal action is taken against the employer.
Where Do Chemical Safety Signs Need to Be Placed?
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), chemical labels need to be placed in a location where employees can see them. This typically means putting them on the front of containers or a sign adjacent to them. In some cases, it may also be necessary to place warning labels on equipment that contains chemicals.
It is important to note that employers ensure that all employees can see chemical warning labels. If any employees cannot see the tags due to their position or work area, employers should take additional precautions to ensure their safety.
What Types of Information Should Chemical Labels Include?
There is a variety of information that should be included on chemical warning labels. OSHA has a list of essential information that you must include, and this can vary depending on the type of chemical. Some of the most critical pieces of information include:
-The identity of the chemical
-The hazards associated with the chemical
-What to do in an emergency
-How to store the chemical safely
Chemical signage is an essential aspect of safety in the workplace. By having displayed warning labels, employers can ensure that employees know any potential hazards associated with a particular chemical.
Highlight Every Health Hazard With Our Chemical Hazard Signs
At LPS, we provide a range of high-quality signs for protection against chemicals. Our signs are clear and easy to read, with some of our more popular options being:
Danger messages, with an exclamation mark to highlight the message
Exploding Bomb – Unstable substances that might explode
Gas Cylinders – Warning for cryogenic burns
Flame Over Circle – Oxidising agent
Test Tube – Corrosive substances
Skull & Crossbones – Shows toxic substances
We can also supply hazard pictograms that are in line with the requirements set out by the European Union, along with reminders to wear (PPE) personal protective equipment.
If you’d like to order our signs, you can do so on our website. Please also feel free to contact our friendly customer service team for support and advice.
Remember, chemical signs aren’t just precautionary statements; they save lives and keep your workplace safe and secure at all times.
Choose from a range of printed and engraved chemical hazard signage with standard or custom text. Got a question or request? Get in touch!