5.1 - Learning outcomes
- Describe the general procedures for the safe, use, storage, handling and disposal of hazardous products
- Describe how to identify the personal protective equipment needed by reading safety data sheets (SDSs)
- Identify the engineering controls available to minimize exposure when working with hazardous products
5.2 - Storage and handling
Hazardous products have characteristics that require precautions be taken before working with them. The product SDS is the key to understanding a given product’s characteristics:
- Storage: What products are incompatible with the product being stored? Under what conditions can it be stored with other products?
- Handling: Is there any personal protective equipment that you must wear when working with the product? What hazard controls are required when working with this product?
Hazardous products in the same class will behave similarly; however, they do not all behave identically. Incompatibilities will be stronger or weaker, hazard levels will be higher or lower, and working procedures may differ greatly.
For example, household bleach (5% hypochlorite) and sulphuric acid are corrosive, but these two products are also incompatible. They will react together to release chlorine gas, which is toxic.
5.3 - Personal protective equipment (PPE)
uOttawa is committed to providing a healthy and safe work and learning environment for all of its employees, students and visitors. Personal protective equipment (PPE) is one way to protect yourself from hazards. However, PPE is the last line of defence. Before considering using personal protective equipment, other hazard controls, such as engineering controls and administrative controls as well as work practices and procedures must be evaluated and put in place whenever possible or practical.
What is personal protective equipment?
Personal protective equipment minimizes worker exposure to specific occupational hazards. PPE does not reduce the hazard itself nor does it guarantee permanent or total protection. Examples of PPE are respirators, gloves, aprons, fall protection equipment and eye and foot protection.
Do you know when you need it?
Using PPE is only one element in a complete safety program. Use of proper engineering controls, work procedures and training, in addition to PPE, will minimize exposure to workplace hazards.
It is not likely that office workers would require PPE while performing their usual tasks. However, if you’re uncertain whether you require PPE, please speak to your supervisor.
Where to get more information on PPE
Do you know what equipment you need to wear?
This PPE presentation will help answer your questions.