Safety isn’t a checklist. It’s a series of ongoing acts.
Every single job has its own unique rules and regulations to keep workers safe every time they clock on. Industries that involve the regular handling of chemicals and sensitive materials? Even more so. Chemical protective garments are a major barrier in preventing serious injury to workers, vital in making sure every project is completed without a hitch. Without gloves to stave off burns or goggles to protect vision, many of the figures we enjoy today wouldn’t be possible. How can you create a safe working environment for your employees?
The United States has remained an economic powerhouse for decades. American factories contributed over $5 trillion worth of goods in 2016. This is just shy of a third of the nation’s gross domestic product and still more than any other sector. Petroleum refineries contribute over $460 billion to the American economy and the natural gas industry boasts an impressive two and a half million workers. This high rate of production isn’t possible without the consistency of a safe workplace. Chemical protective garments are a must-have addition to any company that relies on the handling, distribution and storage of dangerous chemicals.
Although there is no such thing as 100% safety, it is possible to mitigate the majority of the risk through adherence to safety and health programs. These guidelines are updated on a rolling basis to address new concerns and archaic laws, both of which become more apparent as accidents are tallied. The year 2015 saw private industry employers, specifically, reporting nearly three million nonfatal injuries and illnesses in the workplace. These include contracting diseases, slipping, tripping and being exposed to harmful chemicals.
Every part of the body should be properly covered at all times. A minor lapse in judgment can result in long-term injury. Eye and face protection, for starters, is needed at all times. The face is especially susceptible to severe injury due to hosting many sensitive areas, such as the eyes, nose and lips. Even minor exposure to a harmful chemical can cause painful burns. Eye injuries are so costly it’s estimated they cause over $300 million per year in lost production time and medical expenses. Straps are necessary to keep goggles from slipping and some brands are specifically designed to fold comfortably over glasses.
Industrial chemical protective equipment is specifically designed to withstand extreme temperature and corrosion. Permeation is a term used to describe the process of a chemical passing through a protective film (such as a glove or sleeve). The two major values of which this is determined are the breakthrough time and rate. The temperature of the material, the surrounding environment and the thickness of the barrier all add up to overall breakthrough resistance. Acid gear needs to not just be high quality, but quickly replaced once damaged.
Even the thickest and most flame-resistant fabrics can suddenly and unexpectedly ignite, meaning you should always be on your toes when it comes to supplying your employees with chemical protective garments. The CDC estimates over 20 million workers relying on PPE (short for personal protective equipment) to keep them safe from job hazards. Any questions or concerns brought up by employees concerning their safety should be taken with the utmost importance. When thousands of workers lose their sight or mobility each year from work-related injuries, a little foresight can mean the difference between a happy worker and a lost job.
Every industry boasts its own set of hazards. Make sure your protective apparel is up to the task.
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