Chemicals and Flammable Materials

If you plan to use chemicals or flammable materials, be sure to store all chemicals and flammable liquids in approved safety containers or cabinets. Paint, chemicals, and other materials should not accumulate on stage floors, under platforms or in other work areas. You should know and follow proper handling and storage procedures for all combustible or flammable materials. Ensure that there is proper ventilation and wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves, goggles, and/or a respirator. Know where the nearest eye-wash station is and how to use it. Consult the Safety Data Sheet (SDS) obtained from the manufacturer or distributor before working with hazardous chemicals.

Handling Hazardous Chemicals

Always follow these guidelines when working with chemicals:

  • Assume that any unfamiliar chemical is hazardous and treat it as such.
  • Know all the hazards of the chemicals with which you work (see SDS).
  • Never underestimate the potential hazard of any chemical or combination of chemicals. Consider any mixture or reaction product to be at least as hazardous as—if not more hazardous than—its most hazardous component.
  • Never use any substance that is not properly labeled. It may not be what you think it is!
  • Date all chemicals when they are received and again when they are opened.
  • Follow all chemical safety instructions, such as those listed in the Safety Data Sheets or on chemical container labels, precisely.
  • Minimize your exposure to any chemical, regardless of its hazard rating, and avoid repeated exposure.
  • Use personal protective equipment (PPE), as appropriate for that chemical.
  • Use the buddy system when working with hazardous chemicals. Do not work with hazardous chemicals alone.

Handling Flammable Chemicals

  • Keep flammable chemicals away from heat, sparks, and sources of ignition.
  • Keep containers closed, except when in use.
  • Maintain adequate ventilation.
  • Use labeled and proper safety cans and cabinets.
  • Know how to use ABC fire extinguishers.
  • Minimize the quantity of flammable chemicals in the work area.
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