How to treat chemical exposure

Date Posted
Mike Rich

Each year hundreds of thousands of workers are exposed to hazardous materials in the workplace.

To protect these workers government safety regulators require employers to train their employees on the hazards of these chemi­cals.

Regardless of the amount of training your employees receive, at some point an acci­dent will happen. To help ensure their preparedness we assembled the standard treatments for different types of chemical exposure.

a) Skin Splashes

  • Remove contaminated clothing.
  • Flush skin with water for at least 10 minutes.
  • Seek medical treatment.

b) Eye Splashes

  • Flush the eyes with water for several minutes.
  • After the eyes have been rinsed, ask the employee to close both eyes and cover  the eyes with a clean cloth.
  • Seek medical treatment.

c) Inhalation of vapors or gasses

  • Remove affected person to safe area.
  • Apply CPR if breathing has stopped.
  • Send for immediate medical help.

d) Ingestion

  • Wash mouth with water.
  • Do not induce vomiting.
  • Call 911 or send to hospital.

e) First and second degree burns

Unless the SDS indicates otherwise, flush the injured area with gently running water for at least 15 minutes. If larger area, immerse the burned area in cold water or apply ice packs to the affected area.

If available, wrap the burn with Water Jel or place burn gell on the burn. Do not apply butter, oil, or cream to a burn. Cover the burned area with a clean cloth. Seek medi­cal attention. Treat the employee for shock, if necessary.

Remember before handling a chemical your employees need to read the SDS sheet of each chemical to beware of the particular first aid procedures. In all cases when a patient is transported to hospital give the SDS sheet of contaminating chemical to medical personnel.

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