Each year, thousands of workers are injured or killed by workplace accidents or occupational diseases.
The good news is there has been a decrease in the number of workplace accidents and deaths in recent years. The bad news is there is still much to be done to raise awareness of this very real problem.
The risks of handling chemicals
Handling chemical products is one of the leading causes of workplace accidents and occupational diseases. It is associated with a number of health and safety risks—not only those handling the chemicals themselves, but also for those around them.
There are three main ways in which people can be exposed to chemicals:
- Inhalation: smoke, fumes, dust
- Skin contact: splashing, coming into contact with chemical-soaked cloths
- Ingestion: putting contaminated hands in one’s mouth
Inhaling chemical products can occur in a number of ways, such as when concentrated products are improperly mixed. This type of exposure can lead to lung damage, asthma, pneumonia, hypersensitivity, bronchial hyperresponsiveness, pneumoconiosis and even cancer.
Contact with the skin can occur when a product splashes or when someone touches a cloth that has been wetted with the product. This type of exposure can cause skin irritation, ulcers, eczema, contact dermatitis (itchy rash, pain, redness, and swelling) or burns.
Ingesting a chemical product can occur when people put contaminated hands in their mouth. Although this type of exposure occurs less frequently, the risk of poisoning can be the most severe.
Also note that the damage caused by chemicals can be immediate or delayed. Immediate damage can cause nausea, vomiting, headaches, dizziness, chest tightness, loss of consciousness and even death. Delayed damage can occur anywhere from several days to several years following the prolonged or repeated exposure to a chemical product.
Dilution systems: the ideal solution?
The use of a dilution system allows companies to save money and ensure the safety of its staff by reducing costs and the risks of accidents due to improper dilution, contact with an ultra-concentrated products or a heavy load. A dilution system is a smart and effective way to prevent accidents in the workplace, and will keep those who handle cleaning chemicals much safer.