Working with Dangerous Materials? Read This!

dominosWhen people think of modern startups and they’ll think of calm, sedentary office jobs. But there are still plenty of startups that don’t fit that description at all! Plenty of them are working with dangerous materials. If your startup will fit this description, then read this to get the lowdown on essential safety tips.

Food, drink, general hygiene

Modern workplaces are a lot more easygoing than they used to be when it comes to where employees can eat and drink. You may remember a time when being allowed to eat at your desk or in meetings was unthinkable. Modern startups are much more casual in this way.

But you don’t quite have this luxury! If you’re working with dangerous materials, then employees should only be eating and drinking in designated break areas. Let them know you’re not just being mean about it; it’s simply not safe to allow them to eat stuff just about anywhere. You also have to make sure there are plenty of cleaning stations on-site!

Clear signs

Have your employees had basic chemistry lessons? Assuming they went to high school, I’d say so. They should have learned what all those different ‘danger’ signs mean. Corrosive, flammable, and irritant. A different sign indicates each one. But don’t mean assume that everyone remembers all of this!

You may not like the look of so many danger signs, but you’ve got to have them. And they can’t be vague in any way; danger signs that are just symbols with no text could lead to trouble. Employees must know what they all mean. Likewise, don’t have text signs that are similarly vague. Don’t, for example, just have a sign that says DANGER without pointing out what or where the danger is!

Material storage and transit

Perhaps all of your employees need access to all these hazardous materials at any given time. That doesn’t mean they should be left lying around. Not only does this pose an exposure risk; it also means that on-site guests could access the materials without a problem. These materials should be kept in a storage space – and that space should be specifically designedto store those materials!

You’ve also got to consider the potential transit risks. If you need to send hazardous materials from A to B, then this introduces a host of new dangers. If something goes wrong in transit and the public are exposed to the materials? Well, I hope you enjoy lawsuits! If you need to safely store dangerous goods on-site, as well as transport them without problems, try CL Smith

Supervisors and fault reporting

A lot of workplace injuries occur simply because an issue wasn’t reported. Perhaps employees just assume someone else will deal with it. Or maybe they’re even afraid that they’ll be blamed for the problem! In any case, mistakes like this need to stop.

A safety supervisor is a must if you’re going to be dealing with hazards in a busy environment. Still, the other employees need to be able to report dangers if they come across them. Ensure communication between the safety supervisors and other employees is as streamlined as possible.