Safety and Health in Chemical Industry - WorldOfChemicals

Safety in Chemical Industry

Category : General Chemicals
Published by : Data Research Analyst, Worldofchemicals.com

Introduction

In chemical laboratories and chemical manufacturing plants, chemicals are researched, tested and manufactured. Many of these chemicals are hazardous in nature to which both laboratory personnel and plant workers are exposed. When it comes to any industry, freedom from mishaps is of primal importance for successful chemical operations. Accident potentials must be eliminated for new processes and products through proper research.


It is possible to safely handle, store and use chemicals, once their hazardous chemical and physical properties are properly understood and the essential precautions along with appropriate personal protective equipment and safeguards are observed.


In the chemical industry, it is critical to implement measures that reduce the risk of accidents and fatalities for workplace safety. In order to achieve this, it is crucial to know the different types of injuries that take place in chemical plants and more importantly the reason behind their cause of the occurrence.


Typical Injuries at Chemical Manufacturing Plants

Properties of chemicals such as volatility, flammability, toxicity, and radioactivity make the chemical manufacturing plants extremely hazardous. Injuries that predominantly occur at chemical manufacturing plants are:

 1. Chemical Exposure

 2. Inhalation of chemicals

 3. Chemical burns

 4. Overexertion from hauling

 5. Falls and slips

 6. Scrapes and cuts

 7. Machinery accidents

 8. Motor vehicle accidents

 

Causes of Accidents in Chemical Plants

Although precautionary measures are taken to minimize the risk of accidents in chemical manufacturing plants, they still occur at times. Extra measures can be taken to prevent accidents from occurring in the future by knowing why and how they occur.


Main causes of accidents in chemical manufacturing plants are as follows:

 

1. Fallacy and Complacency

At chemical manufacturing plants, most accidents result from human fallacy and complacency. This could happen when workers take shortcuts or fail to follow safety measures mandated by the company.

 

2. Inadequate Training

Inadequate training would result in employees resorting to shortcuts. This is the reason, why employees must be trained on how to handle and operate safety equipment and follow proper procedures. Employees should know how to deal with spontaneous issues and be able to execute appropriate contingency measures to ward off casualties.

 

3. Improper Maintenance of Safety Equipment

Installation of safety equipment is not enough. It is imperative to conduct regular maintenance based on recommendations of the manufacturer at scheduled intervals. Equipment is susceptible to malfunction when they are not maintained properly and ultimately result in accidents at the time of equipment operation. 

 

4. Strategies to Improve Safety

One single fatal fall is lethal enough to adversely affect the net earnings of a business in the chemical industry.

 

Few practices to improve fall protection at chemical manufacturing plants:

1. Installation of Safety Equipment

Installation of safety equipment at chemical manufacturing plants reduces the risk of injuries. The correct safety equipment keeps workers safe without compromising on throughput efficiency. Equipment must be chosen in such a way, that it is easy to operate without explicit instructions. Enigmatic equipment would force employees to resort to shortcuts.

 

2. Training on Safety Procedures

In the chemical industry, it is important to train employees on safety procedures, especially when they are dealing with hazardous chemicals. Employees must understand the risks involved when dealing with chemicals and the significance of wearing protective clothing during all times. Employees should know how to use fall protection equipment. Information should be accessible to the team on issues that they may face and how they can safely resolve them.

 

3. Provision for Designated Loading/Unloading Spots

Employees are prone to falls and other injuries in the absence of fall protection equipment during loading and unloading operations. There should be designated loading and unloading spots at the plant with the installation of safety solutions in those places. Regular audits must be conducted in order to ensure all employees are using safe loading/unloading procedures.


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