PPE Protect Lungs and Skin From Cleaning Chemical Exposure
It is often important during training to remind workers of how they can be exposed to various chemicals that could have an immediate and/or long term impact on their health. Such knowledge can motivate them to use PPE’s (personal protective equipment) properly since they will better understand the function and the need for such protection. The three primary entryways into the human body are nose, skin/eyes and mouth.
The lungs bring in all the air (and other chemicals) that the body uses to keep the human form alive. Respiration is a natural part of living. Breathing in an airborne chemical through the nose (or inhaling through the mouth) is probably the most common means of exposure to many of the damaging elements we encounter. Vapors, dust, and gases can irritate soft tissue from the mouth to the lungs or even enter the bloodstream. Evidence of exposure includes tiredness, lethargy, nausea and dizziness although there can be other symptoms. Many inhaled chemicals can attack the brain, nervous system, kidneys, liver and heart. Workers should be trained in how to respond by promptly evacuating the area for fresh air and seeking medical assistance.
We think of our skin as impervious, yet it is anything but that. The skin is very porous and is susceptible to liquids and gases. Such contact can result in irritated skin, burning or redness. Hands and feet may crack and blister. Such cracks make it even easier for pathogens to enter our bodies and bring about illness. Workers should be trained to immediately flush/wash hands, skin, eyes and the entire body while seeking medical attention.
In a future article, we will consider more about eye contact and swallowing. Please note the preceding is suggestive only since regulations will vary by government entity. It is highly recommended that reader consult with local SME (subject matter experts) on any safety related topic and use the preceding as a starting point.
Go to www.osha.gov for more information or use a search engine for local and state regulations. Your comments and questions are always welcome. I hope to hear from you soon. Until then, keep it clean…
Mickey Crowe has been involved in the industry for over 35 years. He is a trainer, speaker and consultant. You can reach Mickey at 678.314.2171 or CTCG50@comcast.net.