Using the right safety product designed for your specific needs can reduce the risk of accidents and injuries in your facility. They can also help you avoid costly fines due to safety violations. Our safety guides cover how to handle flammable liquids, how to store hazardous materials, the best way to clean up spills, preventing spills from happening and how to navigate selecting your material handling products.
Handling Cans for Flammable Liquids
Safety cans are specially designed containers used to store, transport, dispense, and dispose of fuels, chemicals, solvents, and corrosives. There are several types of cans and accessories available, made from galvanized stainless steel metals or High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE). All approved safety cans must meet OSHA and NFPA Code 30 requirements .
Type I and Type II Cans are most commonly used to hold flammable liquids. The main difference between the two cans is the spout. Type I safety cans feature a single opening for filling and pouring fluids and Type II safety cans have one opening for filling and a second one for pouring.
Cabinet Storage for Hazardous Materials
Safety storage cabinets help keep hazardous materials organized and segregated, reducing the risk of fire and other safety hazards. These cabinets are specifically designed for the storage, use, and handling of hazardous materials in all occupancies and facilities as outlined by the NFPA 400 Hazardous Material Code.
Safety cabinets offer a safe way to contain hazardous materials, keeping employees safe, and reducing the risk of pollution, fire, or combustion. Many cabinets are available with specialty lining that protects the cabinets from harsh corrosives. They feature self-closing doors with locking or keyed mechanisms to keep materials secure. Safety cabinets improve efficiency in facilities by allowing hazardous products to be placed where they are needed, without risk of injury.
Cleaning Up Potentially Dangerous Spills
Spills in facilities can happen even with the best safety storage systems. Corrosive and caustic chemicals cause serious injuries as soon as they touch the skin, eyes, respiratory tract, and digestive tract. Having a spill containment and cleanup plan can eliminate or reduce the risk of injury to employees who handle hazardous materials.
Here are steps that should be taken to clean up dangerous spills:
- Do not expose yourself to the spilled chemical. Put on the appropriate PPE before attempting to control the spill.
- Controlling the flow of the material being spilled will greatly reduce the damage. If the spill is large or is an extremely hazardous material, do not attempt to clean it up. Have someone get help, then rope off the area and do not leave the site unattended.
- Contain the spilled material with absorbent materials such as fine sand, vermiculite, clay, or pet litter.
- Sweep up the absorbent material and place it in a drum designed to hold hazardous materials. Then, decontaminate and neutralize the area.
Safely Storing Drum Containers
Drum containers are an economical storage solution for hazardous materials. These containers come in a variety of sizes and are made with different types of materials, but HDPE is a popular choice.
Consider these steps to safely store drum containers with hazardous materials:
- Purchase the right type of container that’s rated to safely store the material needed.
- Inspect the container for damage and cleanliness.
- Determine where to store the drums and how long the material will be in the drums.
- Label the drum with symbols, words, or other marks to indicate the material it contains and if its contents are hazardous.
- Store the drums in a safety cabinet and/or on spill containment liners for added security.
Safety In Your Industry
Workplace safety is a major concern in any type of industry. The total cost of work injuries in 2018 was $170.8 billion and resulted in 103,000,000 work days lost in the U.S. A positive workplace safety culture improves business performance and employee morale.
Safety issues cost time, money, injuries, and even reputational damages. Although there is no way to prevent workplace injuries completely, you can reduce the damage to the facility and employees considerably with the right tools. With regular inspections, training, a solid spill containment plan, and the right safety equipment, you can help keep your facility safe and profitable.