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Important rules for the safe handling of chemicals

New York businesses that work with hazardous chemicals will want to pay close attention to several safety rules. The first rule is for workers to perform all their duties according to established practices. Second of all, workers should be trained to anticipate all potential dangers while working.

Employers will want to have emergency procedures for dealing with fires and spills, evacuating workers, treating injuries and reporting incidents. For the most part, they are also required to give workers the appropriate personal protective equipment, such as gloves and respirators. To prevent contamination from chemicals, employees should be required to wash all work-related surfaces at least once during their shifts.

When working with chemicals, employees must not eat or drink. Using cosmetics and touching contact lenses with contaminated hands is also a bad idea. The last five rules deal with the chemicals themselves. They should have a legible label and be stored in a cool, dry, ventilated area where all incompatibles are kept apart.

Workers should be able to identify hazards using the label and a material safety data sheet. In fact, these two should always be referred to before employees use the material. Lastly, materials are to be used only for their intended purpose.

It's important to note that an injured worker can be covered for medical expenses, a portion of lost wages and even for short- or long-term disability leave. The victim simply has to file a workers' compensation claim. As long as the employer has workers' comp insurance, the victim of a work-related accident can receive benefits regardless of who was negligent. A lawyer could help with the filing process and even the appeal should the claim be denied.

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