Accidents happen, even under the most controlled situations. While no situation can ever be completely anticipated, there are easy steps that can be taken to minimize health and safety risks when they occur. Topping this list is the addition of personal protective equipment to your attire before working with chemicals in every day or hazardous situations. Personal protective equipment includes items such as specialized clothing, goggles, face masks, shoe coverings, or helmets, and are designed to protect your body from injury or infection. One of the most versatile types of personal protective equipment is a chemical safety suit. Disposable options make these suits affordable and clean up a breeze when an accident occurs. Here are four reasons why you should consider using a chemical safety suit during your next project or assignment.
- Splash Protection
Anyone working with a hazardous liquid, from volatile organic compounds to household bleach, should consider wearing a chemical safety suit for splash protection. Many common industry liquids are used for their acidic or basic properties, but can be harmful if they come in contact with your skin or face. What’s worse, you may not be immediately aware of a spill because some compounds have a delay in irritating your skin. Chemical manufacturing plant workers should always wear chemical safety suits, as these compounds can be particularly caustic. Medical workers should also wear protection against biological splashes, which can carry infectious diseases.
- Heat Protection
If you’re working with flammable materials in large quantities, like oil, gas or other volatile chemicals, you’ll definitely want to add a chemical safety suit to your uniform. Suits that provide heat protection can be flame resistant or flame retardant. A flame resistant suit is made of material like cotton or wool that resists burning, while flame retardant suits are coated with a compound that will stop the chemical reaction of a flame. Flame retardant chemical safety suits are recommended or required in occupations working with combustible substances or with a significant chance of fire encounter.
- Protection against the unknown
In an emergency situation, even in a known work or home environment, you can’t fully anticipate what you’ll encounter. Chemical hood on fire? Acid leaking across the floor? Usually the best approaches to these situations is to treat or monitor the emergency from a safe distance, but if an exposure victim is in need of rescuing, definitely don that chemical safety suit. Emergencies are tough situations all around, but by wearing the proper personal protective equipment, especially a chemical safety suit, can go a long way towards preparing for difficult situations.
Likewise, a chemical safety suit can protect against hazardous unknowns during waste clean up and removal, including unlabeled chemicals, mixed chemicals, or asbestos removal. In most unknown and emergency situations, it’s recommended that you include lung and eye protection with your chemical safety suit as well.
- It’s the law
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) mandates that all persons working in the United States have the right to a safe work environment. OSHA requires all employers to follow health and safety standards, which includes providing personal protective equipment, including chemical safety suits, under penalty of citations and/or fines. A whistleblower system is currently in place where any current employee can file a complaint and request an OSHA inspection if they believe their workplace is not up to code.
The use of personal protective equipment and chemical safety suit attire is a must for many industry and healthcare workers today. The rise of affordable, disposable suit options mean that more people have access to these safety measures in and out of the workplace. While not always the most attractive to wear, chemical safety suits have a proven track record of reducing or stopping injuries and exposure. Before starting your next project, think twice, be smart, and wear a chemical safety suit.