Correct household chemical storage (picme)

You may not realise how dangerous some of your household chemicals can be for you and your family, it can also be dangerous for the environment if it is incorrectly disposed of. A lot of the work with chemicals is to find out as much about it as you can before you purchase the chemical, you should do this by finding out information from the manufacturer or the retailer. A lot of the time there may be more than one suitable chemical for a task, you should always pick the safer of the two chemicals. All of the information about the safety of the chemical can be found on the label and you should always read the label and ask for help if you do not understand everything on it.

Using chemicals:

When using chemicals you must know everything that can go wrong before you begin, if you understand all of the safety precautions you need to take you will have a much safer time. This information can once again be found on the label. When using the chemical use the appropriate safety gloves, avoid breathing in any vapours also.

How to handle chemicals safely

Do not:

  • eat, drink or smoke while using chemicals
  • mix chemicals or products unless specified on the label
  • add water to a chemical – when mixing strong acids or alkalis (for example solid caustic soda) always add the chemical to cold water
  • use hot water as there is a risk of explosion
  • become complacent using chemicals – take care even when there are no warnings or safety directions on the label.

Do:

  • wash your hands with soap and water after using chemicals
  • read the instructions every time before using a product, even if you have used it before (do not rely on your memory). This can save valuable time if first aid is required
  • be responsible about using chemicals, especially if children are nearby.

If you find the label has been damaged, destroyed, removed or cannot be read, then you should dispose of the product appropriately.

Storing chemicals:

Upon storing the chemicals you should always keep them in their original containers and make sure their lids are on to prevent any spillage. Each chemical container you store should be easily identifiable and stored tidily and it should always be kept away from children in a secured location.

Some chemicals will require special storage this can include acids, flammable liquids, medicines and pesticides and pool chemicals. You should always read the labels on all chemicals and learn about any different storing advice that may need to be adhered to. Make sure you inspect the storage area regularly to make sure nothing has become damaged and that nothing is leaking.

When you store your chemicals, always keep them in their original containers, making sure the lids are tightly sealed to prevent spills.

Keeping your children safe is the most important thing if you follow all these steps and are always on the lookout for ways you can improve your home chemical storage situation you will go a long way to keeping them safe!

Video Review: Jamies kitchen safety

This video is very frustrating to watch. I know that it is designed to be this way but still. This video has been presented rather poorly in my opinion. I understand its intent but I feel like it could have been done slightly better. Anyway, I will talk about the video first, the video opens up with a lady doing some cooking, when you are watching at first you are wondering whats going on. You then start to notice her make a lot of errors when she is cooking. The whole video is her making mistake after mistake in the kitchen and is referring to the different mistakes she is making in terms of health and safety.

Her handling of the raw chicken is hard to watch, she almost/does burn herself several times, her general knife handling is scary! Watch the video and try and see how many mistakes she makes.

As you can see throughout the video she makes a HEAP of errors, it’s pretty hard to watch right? My main issues with the video is that there is no explanation what-so-ever and no talking. It’s just personal preference but I find it a little hard to understand the clear motives of the video. I also think it could have done with an explanation at the end of the video going through all the mistakes she was making. The video is good if you combine it with the comments below, read through them on the youtube site listing all the mistakes she was making and see if you can find any others too!

 

Manual Handling, Simple but important

Let’s be real, chances are if you have had any job in the past 20 years you have probably had some form of manual handling training, borrrrrrringggg? Right? Sure you may have learnt something in this field before, but as someone who has been on the receiving end of a back injury I’ll be the first in line to tell anyone, this stuff is VERY important. Even the slightest injury from improper lifting technique or using the wrong equipment can not only be debilitating for you in your work environment, it can greatly affect your home and social life also.

Manual Handling and Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSD’s)

Unsafe manual handling practises are the main causes of MSD’s. There are several factors when determining what constitutes manual handling, picking up a box or moving a barrel is obviously  included however there are many more things included that you may not even consider:

  • Packing
  • Picking
  • Assembly
  • Cleaning
  • Operating Machinery
  • Prolonged exposure to vibrations
  • Manual lifting of unstable, heavy, or difficult to hold objects
  • Awkward posture in handling goods
  • Repetitive movements
  • Manual Handling tasks that require the application of high force

There can be many other tasks that can injure you, this is just a generalised list.

Back Strain

I mentioned earlier that I have been on the receiving end of one of these injuries and let me tell you, they are not fun. I was at times unable to move at all when getting out of bed, it was only a minor back strain and I could barely move at times. This highlights the importance of proper lifting technique: I cannot stress this enough. When you are preparing to lift something, make sure you size up the object you are about to lift, if it is able to be lifted by one person without the assistance of another, or using an assisted lifting device then proceed. The most important thing when you are lifting anything, no matter the weight is to always bend from the knee when you are reaching down to pick something up, bend from the knee while keeping your back straight. Simply making sure to do this when lifting anything at all will greatly prevent your risk of straining your back.

Eliminating workplace hazards

The best way to improve manual handing in a workplace is to promote awareness, everyone in the workplace needs to know about your safe handling practices etc. This does not just apply to the people on the ground, there may be cases where upper management isn’t aware of issues on the floor so communication definitely needs to go both ways.

  • Safety Briefs: Briefs can be very boring, however when it comes to safety they can be very necessary. It is a good practice to have a regular safety brief and openly communicate about changes that can and need to be made.
  • Hire an expert: hiring an Occupational Inspector is a massive step, they will come and visit the workplace and determine the level of risk faced by the employees. If you are a manager or owner of a company you should definitely invest in this. They will help you identify issues and you can bring them to your safety briefs and make safety upgrades as a whole.
  • Incident Reports: incedent reports are a great learning tool, any injury is obviously terrible but the silver lining is that you can learn from that mistake and do everything possible to ensure it will never happen again.

Using Equipment to help your manual handling

This may seem obvious, but if the object you are trying to lift is too heavy, too awkward to carry or if you are just unsure in any way make sure you stop. Every workplace has the equipment to help with manual handling (and if they don’t you should look into getting some). This manual handling equipment can help you in almost any scenario:

Trolleys: A trolley can make any lifting job a breeze if you need assistance getting the item onto the trolley make sure to do so.

 

Roller Conveyors: These devices allow you to move both light and heavy items safely and quickly through high traffic areas. You can get them in rigid or flexible style.

Aluminium Order Picking Ladders: You need support and stability when picking up items from high shelves.

 

Safety should be the top concern of any workplace, making sure your workers get home safely to their families is paramount. Hopefully reading this article has given you a few things to think about when it comes to manual handling!