Chemicals are an indispensable part of human life. There are widespread applications of existing chemicals, and various new chemicals are added annually. This increases the potential of adverse effects by chemicals. Exposure to chemicals may cause numerous health issues such as skin rashes and burns, kidney and lung damage, effect on central nervous system, cancer, and many more. Based on health hazards, chemicals are classified as Toxic, Harmful, Corrosive, Irritant, Carcinogenic, Mutagens, and Toxic to Reproduction. Chemicals can also potentially cause fire and explosion, and other adverse environmental effects.
At KFUPM, the faculty, students, and staff members working with chemicals in research and academic labs, chemical stores, maintenance workshops, must have complete information about the chemicals they work with, and their adverse effects. They must follow safe working practices as per OSHA Standards, use control measures, appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) when working with chemicals.
Safe Handling of Chemicals:
While handling the chemicals in laboratories and other work areas, one must take the following precautions:
- Carefully refer the Safety Data Sheet (SDS) of any unfamiliar chemical you are about to use.
- One must always use the required PPE while handling and using chemicals.
- First Aid Kit must be available in all the chemical laboratories and work areas.
- Do not work alone if you are going to work with chemicals.
- Transport of chemicals, or disposal of the left over chemical or the hazardous waste must be done as prescribed in the SDS.