Many of our clients use bleach in their facilities. Keep in mind that it is a corrosive and can irritate or burn the skin and eyes. Employers must provide appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) for employees who use this chemical. This PPE can include respiratory protection, gloves, goggles and face shields. In most cases, when face shields are worn, the employee should also wear safety eyewear under the face shield as this chemical could splatter under the face shield.
Here are some safety tips when using bleach:
- Review the Safety Data Sheet for this chemical with employees and train them on the safe use and storage of bleach.
- Read the label on the chemical container and follow the mixing ratio if the chemical is being diluted. There are different strengths of bleach so follow the instructions on the label for the strength being used.
- Have a good emergency action plan in place to handle a spill or splatter of this chemical.
- Ensure that when the chemical is placed into a secondary container that it is properly labeled. The pictogram for Corrosive should be affixed to the secondary container along with hazard and precautionary information.
- Bleach can react with other chemicals so inform employees not to mix this chemical with other chemicals.
- Use this chemical in a well-ventilated area.
- Provide neoprene or other corrosive-resistant gloves.
- Store bleach in a cool, dry place and away from direct sunlight and heat. If bleach is used as a sanitizer or disinfectant, it should be mixed daily and stored during the day in a dark container.
- Pay special attention to the types of surfaces being cleaned as this chemical will corrode metals.
- Encourage good hand washing with soap and water after handling bleach.
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