Hazardous Materials in an Industrial Setting

Something else that we need to cover with regard to work place safety in factories and industrial settings is the subject of hazardous materials. The vast majority of factories and machine shops will use one or more materials that are considered hazardous in one way or another. It’s important that you know how to handle them, transport them, and mix them; you’ll also need to know what to do in case of a spill. You should know what kind of hazard the material is, and what to do if you ingest it or get any on your person. That’s a lot of information to be aware of and remember, and it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to do it. For that reason, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires all employers to have these facts organized and easily accessible by their employees.

This very important work safety information will be stored in a three ring binder, or on a computer, and should be near where the hazardous materials are stored. Every dangerous chemical or other substance will have its own page. These pages are called Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS), and should be arranged alphabetically. You should know where the notebook is, or how to access the MSDS on the computer if that’s the system being used. Even more basic is the safety principle that you should know what the substance or chemical is before you pick it up, or begin to use it. All hazardous materials are required to be stored in clearly labeled containers, with the name and the chemical properties in easy to read letters. If you don’t know what a substance is, don’t use it or handle it, and when you’re done with a particular material, always return it to its original, labeled container. If you’re unfamiliar with the substance, before you begin working with it, look up its risks and hazards on its Material Safety Data Sheet. Hazardous materials are not to be taken lightly – they can burn you, poison you, explode if not handled properly, and even kill you. Knowing where the MSDS are kept, knowing how to use them, and making it a point to use them every time you begin working with an unfamiliar substance are basic principles of work safety. Don’t ignore them; the consequences could be deadly.


The Facts on Repetitive Stress Injury
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Measures to Prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Preventative Measures: Mice
Other Ergonomic Habits
Leading Cause of Work-Related Deaths
Second Leading Cause of Work-Related Deaths
Violence in the Workplace
Romance at Work
Safety Concerns in an Industrial Setting
Hazardous Materials in an Industrial Setting
Tips When Working With Heavy Machinery
Forklift Safety
Tips For Working With Industrial Machinery
Miscellaneous Work Safety Tips