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Safety Focus: Practical solutions for the safe handling of cleaning solvents and thinners

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article image Bowen Group's corrosive substance safety storage cabinets are built to withstand Class 8 corrosive substances
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In the first part of this series, we listed a number of measures that a person controlling a business or undertaking needs to ensure are in place to minimise the risk of workers being exposed to hazardous chemicals from cleaning solvents and thinners.

In this section, we will focus on several of these measures, discussing how the products and services offered by companies that list on Ferret.com.au can assist in ensuring this risk is minimised.

Managing the risk to health and safety associated when using, handling, generating or storing a hazardous chemical at a workplace

When it comes to handling and storing hazardous chemicals, several companies listed on Ferret.com.au offer solutions designed to minimise the risk of exposure by workers.

Enware Australia, for example, stocks a range of spill containment and prevention solutions that are designed to not only reduce worker exposure to hazardous materials and accidents, but also assist in:
  • reducing clean up and disposal costs
  • reducing material costs; and
  • increasing productivity through materials handling and storage products that let workers to move products quickly and safely.
All products in this range are constructed from 100% polyethylene, so they will not rust or corrode. UV stabilised, they also offer high resistance to chemicals, and in most cases are UN, DOT, EPA, SPCC and NPDES compliant.

With regard to safely storing hazardous chemicals, Bowen Group's corrosive substance safety storage cabinets are built to withstand even the most highly concentrated Class 8 Corrosive substances.

Also constructed from 100% polyethylene, these cabinets feature dual compartments allowing for the separation of acids and bases within the cabinet, and are fully tested for chemical resistance by the CSIRO.

Ensuring that information, training and instruction on the risks associated with the use of volatile solvents and thinners is provided to workers
Chemical System Consulting (CSC) is a Consulting member of the Australasian Institute of Dangerous Goods Consultants (AIDGC) - a peak body recognised by WorkCover for the storage and handling of dangerous goods.

CSC specialises in dangerous goods training. CSC's template training is designed to cover all of WorkCover's outcomes for the training of employees at risk from dangerous goods.

The company offers one day training courses for employees on the storage and handling of dangerous goods and hazardous chemicals.  

These training sessions are designed for workers who are exposed to or work with dangerous goods and hazardous chemicals, providing participants with the basic knowledge necessary for safe storage and handling of the harmful substances.   

Providing appropriate PPE

While there are many companies on Ferret that specialist in personal protective equipment, one company of particular note is RCR International, which is the brand owner of the Pro-Val range of safety products.

The company's disposable protective coveralls are suitable for a range of applications, such as:
  • asbestos removal
  • paint spraying
  • chemical clean-ups
  • mining
  • emergency services
  • fibre glassing
  • insulation
  • resin application
  • pharmaceuticals
  • chemical processing; and
  • pesticide or insecticide spraying.
A variety of coveralls are available, for use in Type 4, 5 and 6 hazardous applications. In particular, Hazguard MP4 waterproof coveralls feature stitched and taped seams, making them entirely waterproof, and hence particularly well suited to use where hazardous chemicals are handled.

In the final part of this series, we will turn to a number of risk control measures suggested by WorkCover to further minimise the risk of chemical exposure, in addition to mentioning one aspect of appropriate training so far overlooked in our discussion. Click here to read on.

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