When we are dealing with chemicals in the workplaces, we will be exposed to the chemicals-associated potential hazards that would harm our health and safety, environment and plant facilities. Adequate information about chemical hazards will greatly help us during hazard identification study and ensure no hazards left to be identified. The list below shows hazards those are associated with chemicals preservation, loading and unloading operation, transportation, usage or maintenance work.
- Fire. This may be caused by flammable, combustible or reactive chemicals.
- Explosion. It comes with flammable, combustible or reactive chemicals.
- Heat. As the result of reaction of the chemicals with another one.
- Toxic gas. Such gas is also possible to be introduced when two or more chemicals reacting or through decomposition reaction.
- Corrosive vapors.
- Harmful to human health: eye irritation, corneal damage, eye burn, skin irritation, skin burn, headache, dizziness, nervous system depression, liver damage, kidney damage, heart damage, tract irritation, death, etc. Each chemical may have different health effects and this information can be extracted from the MSDS.
- Environment contamination. Chemical spill and waste are common environment contamination factors.
The first step that has to be followed is to make a list containing hazardous chemicals used in the plant site. After that, refer to each MSDS for identifying the hazards. From MSDS, we can recognize different hazard control for each chemical. Some chemicals that are commonly found in chemical plant operation are hydrochloric acid, sodium hydroxide, hydrogen peroxide, phosphoric acid, formaldehyde, methanol, nitric acid, sulfuric acid, hydrogen and etc. Don’t forget to update the chemical hazards list regularly or when change exists. This is so important and will directly affect the hazard identification list.