Chemicals are everywhere. They are used to simplify household chores, purify water, and increase crop yields. However, chemicals are hazardous to the environment and humans when used/released in an improper manner. These hazardous materials can be in the form of radioactive, flammable, poisonous, or explosive materials. Accidents involving dangerous goods can occur during storage, transportation, disposal, or production. Unfortunately, contact with hazardous materials can cause death or long-term effects.
With the widespread and common use of these materials, it is important to understand what to do if ever in a situation where one of these materials has used or released improperly. It is also important that businesses that handle such material provide proper training and certification where needed. Proper training and certification will give employees the knowledge to handle a variety of situations safely.
Those who handle hazardous materials, whether during packaging, shipping, or disposal, must be trained on how to competently and safely perform their jobs. Otherwise, mistakes can happen and injury can occur. If you find yourself in a dangerous situation with a hazardous material, here are some tips on how to safely handle the situation.
· Listen and follow the instructions offered by authoritative sources. Stay away from contaminated areas to minimize the risk of contamination. It is important to note that some toxins found in the chemicals are odorless.
· If asked to evacuate:
o Do so immediately.
o Stay tuned for information on temporary shelters and evacuation routes and procedures.
o Stick to recommended routes.
o Close windows, shut vents, and turn off attics to minimize contamination in closed spaces.
o Carry your emergency kit with you at all times.
· If you are caught outside:
o Move away from the scene of the accident.
o Do not touch or come into contact with spilled liquids, mists, or condensed chemical deposits.
o Do not inhale gases and fumes.
o Stay away from accident victims until the hazardous item is identified.
· If you are caught in a motor vehicle:
o Stop and seek temporary shelter.
o Close all windows and shut off the heater, air conditioners, and vents.
· If requested to stay indoors:
o Keep everyone inside, including pets.
o Turn off all air conditioners and the ventilation system.
o Seal all gaps and openings around the doors and windows.
o Avoid consuming contaminated foods and water.
· After the accident, go to the designated public shelter if you feel your location is unsafe.
· Act promptly if you came into contact with, or were exposed to the hazardous substances. Make sure to follow the decontamination procedure issued by local authorities and seek medical attention.
Training for employees who handle or come in contact with these materials is of utmost importance. At Transportation Compliance Associates, we will keep you and your staff up to date and compliant with industry regulations. Courses include emergency response drills and training, how to handle hazardous materials and mock compliance audits to determine compliance levels. After your training course with Transportation Compliance Associates, both you and your staff will be prepared to safely perform necessary job duties. Call today!