Chemical safety means knowing about the possible dangers of the hazardous chemicals that you use in your job and how to protect yourself against those hazards. Laboratory facilities contain many different chemicals and chemical products, many of which can be hazardous to your health as well as present physical hazards, such as fires and explosions. The law requires that laboratory employees be provided with information about chemical hazards. Lab employees have a responsibility to use the information provided about chemical hazards in order to use chemicals safely. This course helps trainees understand the hazards of the chemicals they work with, interpret hazard information on labels, understand information in the safety data sheet (SDS), take adequate precautions, and respond effectively to emergencies.
Why “Chemical Safety for Lab Workers” Matters:
- An estimated 30 million workers are exposed or potentially exposed to more than 650,000 hazardous chemicals each year.
- There are typically 20,000 incidents of exposure to hazardous chemicals annually that result in one or more lost workdays due to illnesses or injuries from these chemicals.
Numbers like these show why it’s so important that laboratory employees know about chemical hazards in their lab and how to get the information needed to protect themselves. It is especially important in a laboratory facility where an employee could be exposed to a variety of hazardous chemicals.
The main points covered by this session on chemical safety in the lab include how to:
- Identify the hazards of a chemical before you start to use it.
- Read the label and the MSDS for chemicals you use.
- Follow the safety instructions and warnings.
- Always use required PPE.
- Use sensible and safe work habits.
- Learn proper emergency procedures.