Sadly, over 5,000 workers die every year due to work-related accidents. The top three causes of death are falls, hazardous materials, and inhaling toxic fumes. While there are certain workplace safety regulations companies must abide by, these deaths continue to occur.
Are you planning to work with hazardous materials? If so, you’ll want to pay close attention to this post, as we’ll cover all of the hazard classes, and how you can protect yourself from them.
These are substances that possess the ability to detonate during chemical reactions or movements like fireworks or flares. That means you’ll need to move these substances with extreme care and precaution.
This can include compressed gases, refrigerated gases, and products charged with aerosols. Within this class, there are three sub-classes: flammable gases, non-flammable, and toxic gases. Before moving any object with this class label, be sure to check that it’s sealed.
There are many safety concerns regarding flammable liquids, since these substances can ignite at any given moment if not handled properly. They can include acetone, combustion fuel, and even perfumes.
Metal powders and sodium batteries are some of the things that safety experts consider flammable solids. These substances can ignite on their own and can even spontaneously heat up.
While oxidizing agents aren’t prone to combustion, they can still ignite other materials. These substances include hydrogen peroxide and lead nitrate. The danger of this hazard class is that it’s very difficult to extinguish once a fire breaks out.
Toxins and Infectious Materials
Perhaps one of the most dangerous hazard classes is this one, as some toxins can kill within minutes. Additionally, medical waste can contain deadly viruses or bacteria. That’s why it’s important to refer to the safety data sheet with programs like HazMat, so you can properly protect yourself.
Fortunately, not many workers need to deal with radioactive materials, but they must be extremely careful when they do. This is because these substances produce ionizing radiation, which can severely harm your body.
Of all the hazardous materials mentioned, corrosive materials are extremely dangerous to handle. On the one hand, exposure to corrosive fumes can destroy your lungs, and on the other hand, touching it can leave a nasty scar.
Miscellaneous Dangerous Goods
When a certain substance or product doesn’t fit into any of the other categories, it’s classified as miscellaneous dangerous goods. For example, it can include GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms), asbestos, or airbag modules.
Be Extra Careful When Handling Hazardous Materials
Hopefully, now you understand the nine hazardous materials you can find in a workplace. Always follow your job site safety regulations so you can maintain a safe work environment. And don’t forget to bookmark this post, so you can refer to it whenever you need to.
What hazardous materials do you work with? Let us know down below. And don’t forget to check out our other work-related topics!