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Chemicals in the workplace

On Behalf of | Apr 4, 2022 | Workers' Compensation

Jobs in nearly every industry involve potential hazards. In addition to common injuries, like slips and trips, you may be exposed to dangerous chemicals that could cause significant damage to your body.

You might not fully understand the chemicals you work with and the injuries you could sustain from exposure, and proper treatment is necessary to decrease bodily harm. But do you have the information you need to reduce risk?

What information can you find on Safety Data Sheets?

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires employers to maintain Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) for the chemicals kept on hand. These documents contain essential information about the materials and related safety precautions.

Each SDS identifies the product’s name, manufacturer information and the chemical’s recommended use. Further information is broken down into categories which include:

  • Medical treatment
  • Reactivity and stability
  • Cleanup procedures
  • Exposure control
  • Toxicity

Your employer must have SDSs available for industrial chemicals and any products you might use differently from their recommended home use. They should educate you on material use and familiarize you with the recognized ways to minimize potential injuries.

Treatment and self-advocacy

If you become injured or ill on the job, be sure to report your condition to your employer immediately so they can support your workers’ compensation claim. Then learn about your rights if they don’t take your injury seriously.

The various chemicals you could encounter in the workplace may require different first-aid responses, and improper treatment could make matters worse.

It’s better to seek medical attention than to assume everything is fine after your initial response to chemical exposure. Bringing a copy of the related SDS can help your health care team treat your injury accordingly.