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Hazard communication plans for dangerous chemicals

Every construction team should have a hazard communication plan in place. Communication is the main method of defense against harm from chemical hazards for all construction workers. When your team doesn't realize the danger they're in while dealing with certain chemicals on the job, they aren't adequately protected.

What exactly goes into a strong hazard communication plan? It involves:

  • A Material Safety Data Sheet for every chemical used by your team or on the site.
  • Clear, coherent labels on every chemical agent, including the name of the chemical, what physical hazards it creates and what to do in the event of an emergency.
  • A written program that explains how your employees will be informed about hazardous chemicals used in their jobs.
  • A written plan on how spills are to be handled.
  • A written understanding of how chemical containers need to be stored for safety.
  • A written emergency plan in case of accidental exposure.

In addition to the above, it's important to train your team on how to handle things like inadvertent spills and the disposal of materials used to clean up any chemicals. Your team should also understand the purpose of the personal protective gear they have -- and know that they're expected to use it at all times when handling chemicals.

Finally, you have to remember the cardinal rule: No plan is effective unless you share it. The more your team understand the hazards associated with the chemicals they use, the more cautious they're likely to become.

Despite all the best precautions, accidents sometimes happen in construction. If you or your loved suffered a chemical injury on a construction site, you may need to seek help with your claim for compensation.

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