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How do I protect myself when working with chemicals?

No matter where you work, or what you do for employment, you can come into contact with chemicals while on the job. If you don't know how to keep yourself safe when working, especially when you work in a job with chemicals, you can suffer serious illness or injury.

Working with chemicals can cause the following issues with your health:

  • Red, itchy eyes
  • Sneezing and coughing
  • Sore throat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Eye and skin burns
  • Skin rashes
  • Asthma
  • Nosebleeds
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires all employers to train their employees about chemicals, especially if they work with chemicals on a daily basis. The training that must take place includes the following:

  • How to store chemicals safely
  • How to use chemicals safely
  • Understand the hazards of chemicals prior to using them
  • Know how to use protective clothing such as gloves, masks, goggles and full bodysuits
  • How to dilute cleaning chemicals properly when required
  • Know the steps to take when a chemical spill occurs
  • Know how to use hazard information and material safety data sheets

Employees who wish to stay safe when working with chemicals should always wear the protective equipment supplied by their employer. They should also wash their hands before touching their eyes or mouth. This is especially important when going to take a break for lunch or to smoke.

Do you work with chemicals on a regular basis? If so, dealing with illness caused by chemical exposure can be difficult. An experienced personal injury attorney can answer all of your questions and advise you of your rights in New York.

Source: OSHA, "Protect Yourself: Cleaning Chemicals and Your Health," accessed July 13, 2017

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