Plumbing tasks can often involve the use of chemicals for cleaning joints or flushing systems. Many of these chemicals can be hazardous if not treated with respect and some basic safety considerations should be adopted for any task. You do not want to flush these down the sink without thought as some are highly corrosive and others could react with elements of your plumbing or drains causing a problem.
The following is a list of some obvious chemical safety practices although the list is not exhaustive and common sense should always be applied.
- Wear protective goggles when handling liquids or where there is a possibility of a substances entering into the eyes eg dusts.
- Wear impervious gloves when handling liquids and powders.
- Always use any other appropriate protective clothing specified (e.g. dust mask), and always ensure that it is suitable for the purpose. Any defects in personal protective equipment should result in the article being thrown away and a replacement obtained.
- Wash your hands after work and after visiting the toilet.
- Always dry your hands afterwards.
- Remove any PPE (e.g. gloves, overalls) before eating.
- Eat meals outside work areas.
- Do not smoke or you may ingest hazardous substances by transferring them from your fingers via your cigarette to your mouth.
- Always cover cuts and abrasions.
Even though you may feel you are in a rush you should never take chemical safety lightly. Chemical solutions and products are often used within the home to clear drains or cleaning items and whilst these are very beneficial we need to remember that the chemicals themselves can be dangerous if not handled properly.
You should take particular care with chemicals if you have small children in the home. You should also be very careful if you have any form of skin infection as the most gentle of chemicals can sometimes cause severe reactions with long-term consequences. If you are concerned with using any of these products in your home it may well be better to pick up the telephone and call out the appropriate tradesmen as they will not only have the experience but also the appropriate clothing and procedures which are required to handle these items safely.
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