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Safety Tips for Working with Hazardous Chemicals

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Exposure to hazardous chemicals is one of the most common injuries that can lead to Pennsylvania workers' compensation. If your job involves hazardous chemicals, here are some tips you and your coworkers can follow to make sure you stay safe in the workplace.
 
Have an Emergency Plan
In the event that there is a leak or spill, know what to do. Know how to clean up each different type of chemical and know where all of the necessary equipment is stored. Only those that have been trained to work with a spilled chemical should be responsible for cleaning up the spill. If you do not have a plan similar to this in place, speak with your supervisor about putting one together and giving all employees a copy, while also making a copy readily available at the job site. 
 
Wear Protective Clothing
When working with dangerous chemicals, be sure to have all appropriate clothing such as boots, gloves, safety googles, etc. If you spill a chemical on the clothing you are wearing, either dispose of or thoroughly clean the clothes (depending on whether or not the item is for one-time use). When spills such as this occur, do not consume any food or beverages until you have thoroughly cleaned all areas of the body that may have come in contact with the chemical. 
 
Keep the Job Site Clean and Organized
Keep all working areas and walkways clear of objects that could cause anyone to fall and knock over a chemical. Make sure that all chemicals are properly sealed when not in use and labeled. If a spill occurs, take care of it immediately. Make sure that all protective equipment and first aid kits are kept in easily accessible areas and that everyone knows where to locate them. There should also be warning signs that are clearly visible as well as readily available guides that help workers decipher the chemical labels. 
 
Properly Dispose of All Chemicals
Not every chemical is to be disposed of in the same manner. Be sure to know how to properly manage the chemical waste you are working with as well was everything that may come in contact with it. 
 
Remember, if you have been injured in a hazardous chemical accident while on the job, you may be entitled to Pennsylvania workers' compensation. If you live in the Harrisburg, Hazleton, or York area, contact PaWorkersCompHelpNow at 877-COMPHELP for a free consultation. 
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5 Ways to Improve Safety in the Work Place

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Dangerous work conditions are one of the leading causes of work related injuries. Safety is something all workers are entitled to. Unfortunately, not all employers are committed to providing it. If you would like to improve the safety of your work environment, below are a few tips you can speak with your coworkers and supervisors about implementing.

1. Hold Safety Meetings
Holding monthly safety meetings will help you and your coworkers stay on top of all safety routines and procedures. Not only would this provide a good time to go over new policies, but will also give employees a chance to ask questions and bring up safety concerns. Meetings are also great time to show videos, give quizzes, and share presentations.
 
2. Put Together a Safety Manual
A manual that outlines the rules and how to safely use all job-related equipment is a great resource. Each employee can be given a copy of the manual and a company copy should be made available on the work site at all times.
 
3. Inspect Regularly
Be on the lookout for hidden safety hazards, such as cracked tools and under-stocked first aid kits. Also, prepare an equipment checklist to make sure all tools and safety apparatuses are present. Safety inspections should take place at least once a week. 
 
4. Develop a Rewards Program
People love working towards rewards, and safe work habits are definitely something that deserve to be recognized. If the number of work incidents falls beneath a set amount during a given time period (monthly, quarterly, yearly, etc.), the employees can be rewarded with a pizza party or an extra vacation day.
 
5. Have Safety Drills
Safety drills will help you and your coworkers become familiar with all exit procedures, for example, the emergency door locations. The plans for these drills can be discussed at your regular safety meetings and the instructions can be worked into the employee safety manual. Safety drills will also ensure that all alarms are working properly and will show if any of your plans need to be altered. For example, if your coworkers are not getting out of the building quickly enough, you may need to think of a different route or move some of the office furniture to a new location.
 
Remember, your employer is required to provide you with a safe work environment. If you think your company is not in compliance with Pennsylvania’s labor laws, you should contact the Department of Labor or a competent workers’ compensation attorney immediately.
 
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