Safety, January 24, 2011

Maintenance and repair on manufacturing equipment may involve working with chemicals, especially solvents

Maintenance and repair on manufacturing equipment may involve working with chemicals, especially solvents. Electricians might go a long time between training and working with these chemicals.

In many facilities, today's environment is an odd combination of a skilled worker shortage and staff cutbacks. The result is a multi-craft environment. An electrician may be taking on many non-electrical tasks, without the craft training required for safely performing those tasks.

Here are some tips to help you with tasks that involve chemicals:

  • Use approved safety storage cans for solvents.
  • Don't recycle/repurpose soft drink cans or other containers for use with solvents.
  • Don't store oxidants (e.g., the chlorine used for water treatment) and corrosives (e.g., an acid-containing battery) in the same area.
  • An open door doesn't mean a room is safely ventilated. Flammable vapors that are lighter than air can accumulate in ceiling spaces; if heavier than air, they'll accumulate in depressions in the floor.
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