Process technologists and safety are at the forefront of awareness of the common hazardous chemicals and materials used in their facilities. They must understand their impact on workers, the general public, and the environment. Techs take measures and set protocols to prevent accidents at work and lessen the substances’ impact.

Hazardous industrial chemicals and materials may be more common than we might think.  Studies show that exposure to them can produce short and long-term health effects.

How Process Technologists Prevent AccidentsProcess technicians are key players in implementing measures to prevent accidents and exposure to hazardous chemicals.


Common Hazardous Chemicals And Materials

The creation of new products and services brings with them some waste materials that are considered hazardous or toxic. These materials can affect industrial workers as well as the general public. The following are potentially harmful substances in common use:

  • Acids
  • Lead
  • Aluminum
  • Mercury
  • Cadmium
  • Paint
  • Caustic Substances
  • Pesticides
  • Disinfectants
  • Petroleum Products
  • Glues
  • Solvents
  • Heavy Metals

These materials come in the form of liquids, solids, and gasses that are used in manufacturing and processing facilities. Depending on the company and industry, there are some other products not on the list that can be toxic. Managers and technicians must be cautious about chemicals imported from countries that have lower hazardous material standards.

Impact Of Hazardous Industrial Materials On Employees

The degree of potential hazard and harm facing workers depends on the concentration of the chemical, frequency of exposure, and duration of exposure to them. Exposure can take the forms of splashing onto the eyes or skin, inhaling, swallowing, or touching substances. Some of the possible effects on health include.

  • Birth Defects
  • Lung Disorders
  • Chemical Burns
  • Nausea
  • Dermatitis
  • Nervous System Disorders
  • Headaches
  • Poisoning
  • Kidney Disorders
  • Skin Rashes
  • Liver Disorders
  • Vomiting

Even though process technicians and managers take the necessary steps to train employees about the potential dangers of harmful substances, accidents still occur. Even one accident or overexposure to them is too many. It’s important to know that accidents and negative exposures can have long-term health effects as well as short-term effects.

Process Technologists And Safety: Measures To Prevent Accidents

Process Technology CollegeProcess technologists comply with local, state, and federal regulations to help safeguard the health and safety of workers in their companies. They also work in teams to improve current policies and develop new ones to benefit everyone. The following are typical approaches:

  • Technicians should read product labels and Safety Data Sheets before product use
  • Point out hazard pictograms and any signal words such as warnings to employees
  • Tell employees to read any hazard statements on labels and Safety Data Sheets
  • Inform workers to comply with any precautionary statements such as wearing goggles
  • Post contact numbers and websites for further product information

Companies that use specialized hazardous chemicals have additional measures and protocols to prevent accidents. In general, the better employees are trained, the fewer the accidents. Visit our Process Technology (AOS) Program to learn more about how you can start your process technologists career path.

“Process technologists must be aware of the common hazardous chemicals and materials used in their facilities. They must understand their impact on workers.”

 Process Technologists And Safety: Protocols To Protect Workers

Process technicians follow a set of guidelines or protocols to protect industrial workers. They typically follow these steps to reduce or eliminate exposure to hazardous substances:

  • When possible, find a safer substitute product for a task that uses hazardous chemicals
  • Spend the time to train employees in handling and safety procedures
  • Provide employees with protection accessories like gloves, goggles, respirators, or suits
  • Schedule times to consult with workers about maintaining and improving safety
  • Monitor the workplace to detect or track the degree of hazardous substances present
  • Store hazardous materials in separate storage areas and purge or ventilate these areas

There is typically someone at work who is trained in first-aid in case of accidents. First-aid kits are placed in strategic places for use should an accident occur.

Efforts To Minimize Environmental Impact

Process technologists and safety practices promote taking steps to minimize the environmental impact of hazardous chemicals and materials used in their facilities. Some of these substances may release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from the products they produce. At times, dangerous waste products may leak out of the facility into water, air, and soil, and harm the public.

Product toxicity reduction is a major goal for virtually all companies today to protect workers and the environment, improve their reputations, and avoid litigation liabilities. Entry-level jobs are available for process technicians in many states. Those who are better prepared with an associate degree reap the rewards. Contact ITI Technical College today for more information.

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