"Handle with care" is a good rule of thumb to follow in any workplace. It is especially important for Florida workers who find themselves handling hazardous materials in the course of their workday.
When hazardous chemicals are involved, employers may want to discuss safety rules and precautions in a meeting and ask employees for suggestions for other safety tips, according to Environmental Health and Safety. This will give workers a sense of ownership with the result of employees being more likely to follow the rules.
Before handling any hazardous substances, workers should be trained in how to handle the chemicals and then follow established procedures for doing so. They also should wear any personal protective equipment required and inspect before each use to make sure it is safe to use. Chemicals should be used only for their intended purposes and not for cleaning body parts or equipment.
Workers should make sure that any containers containing chemicals are properly labeled and not damaged. Workers should also read material safety data sheets, known as MSDS, and make sure they understand the hazards of handling these materials and precautions that should be observed.
Following basic safety rules will cut down on accidents, but it likely won't eliminate them entirely. Visits to the emergency room may be necessary if chemicals touch the skin or fumes are inhaled. Workers who suffer such injuries may be eligible for workers' compensation under Florida law. Benefits might include medical expenses and lost wages. If benefits are denied, the injured worker may want to consult with a workers' compensation attorney for assistance in dealing with the agency that handles claims.