Workplace Safety: How to Work With Corrosives


By definition, ‘Corrode’, means ‘to eat away’ or ‘destroy little by little’. Corrosive liquids can destroy steel at a rate of 6.35 mm per annum . If spilled on the skin, a corrosive liquid will eat away tissue much faster. Corrosive acids and bases, oxidizing and dehydrating agents give off fumes which are toxic to the systema respiratorium , erode the skin, and are very irritating to the eyes. The fumes of corrosives, within the presence of moisture or humidity, condense totally on metal surfaces. When the water evaporates, a really corrosive residue remains.

The following basic rules are designed to guard employees and keep their exposure to danger from these chemicals at a minimum.

MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheets) should be available for all the chemicals that you simply work with or that are stored on-site. This information should be readily available for everybody .
Read the MSDS for all the materials that you simply work with.
Be aware of the hazards like explosion or fire, danger to human health or the chemical reactivity of those materials that you simply work with.
Know which of those chemicals are corrosives.
Store corrosives during a cool, dry, well-ventilated area in locked safety cabinets designed for this purpose.
Comply with rules for the safe storage of corrosives and other chemicals.
Never place a corrosive on a shelf above eye level.
Do not store corrosives with or near incompatible chemicals.
Use or handle corrosives during a well ventilated area. Some facilities require that corrosives are used only under a fume hood exhaust designed to handle corrosive vapors.
Dispense corrosives carefully and keep containers tightly closed when not in use.
Store corrosives only in manufacturer’s containers or in containers that are recommended.
Handle containers carefully to avoid damaging them.
If employment requires the blending of corrosives and water, stir the controlled amounts of the corrosive very slowly into cold water. Never dump an outsized amount of a corrosive directly into water, especially warm or predicament .
Never add water to an acid as this will generate intense heat and a violent reaction.
Wear PPE (personal protective equipment) when working with corrosives. Eye goggles or a face shield, gloves and a protective apron should be used at a minimum.
Handle and eliminate corrosive waste as hazardous waste. eliminate consistent with local, state and federal regulations.
Employees must skills to handle splashes and get in touch with by flushing exposed area thoroughly with water.
Emergency supplies, spill kits and spill response materials should be readily available.
Fire extinguishers and firefighting equipment should be on the brink of the work area.
An eye wash station and safety shower must be nearby and every one personnel conscious of location and skills to use them.
All employees must be trained in spill response, emergency evacuation routes and procedures.
Do not reuse empty corrosive containers.
Do not return unused corrosives like acids to their original container. they’ll contain traces of contamination or another material which could cause a reaction .
If a corrosive must be transported to a different area, place in shatter-proof container.
All containers must have complete labels, including secondary containers.
The potential for harm when working with corrosives are often greatly diminished by following these basic safe practices.

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