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Essential safe handling rules for hazardous materials at work

Many occupations in Pennsylvania require workers to handle chemicals or other hazardous materials. Therefore, employers need to make safe handling procedures a top priority by training employees and asking for their insights about safety. When accident prevention becomes a cooperative effort between management and staff, workers may make a greater effort to follow the rules.

Safety starts with labeling so that workers will know when something poses a threat. All hazardous substances need to be kept in proper containers with clear labels. Workers should alert others to damaged containers or missing labels. Everyone should also have access to the material safety data sheets for every substance. This information instructs people in the correct use of the applicable chemicals and warns about dangers.

Personal protective equipment is often needed to handle chemicals. Employers should provide necessary items like suits, masks or gloves. Everyone should know to use protection and replace broken equipment whenever necessary. Additionally, employees need to clean their work areas at least once a shift to prevent drips or spills from contaminating the space or coming in contact with an unsuspecting co-worker.

Even if everyone observes safety procedures, accidents might still happen. This means workers must know how to handle an emergency. Training should include how to report a problem, evacuate the area and seek medical help.

A workplace with a lax safety program could be prone to accidents. A person hurt in such an environment might experience barriers when trying to make a workers' comp claim. However, legal advice might empower a worker who needs to pursue benefits. An attorney could prepare paperwork for the insurance company and potentially address any concerns about possible safety violations. With legal support, a worker might obtain compensation for medical care and lost pay.

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