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Protect yourself

As a worker, there is a lot you can and should do to protect yourself and others around you when handling dangerous chemicals. Make sure you follow the basic steps for staying safe.

Chemicals at work can cause dangers to you and other workers around you. Fumes or liquids can spill if not handled properly and cause for example poisoning and respiratory problems. Certain chemicals may also cause cancer, harm foetuses or reproductive health.

Here is a checklist to help you stay safe.

  • Request regular information and training on how to handle hazardous chemicals.
  • Read and understand the safety data sheets including hazards for each chemical you work with.
  • Know how to handle chemicals properly to avoid exposure.
  • Never leave an open flame unattended.
  • Handle chemicals carefully.
  • Tie back long hair and remove loose clothing.
  • Use appropriate footwear and do not use accessories.
  • Use safety goggles or safety glasses, as well as any other appropriate personal protective equipment, at all times.
  • Be aware of hygiene.
  • Dispose waste appropriately
  • Immediately report accidents to your supervisor.

Depending on your work place, these steps and the information you need to do your job safely may vary. Remember that if you have any doubts, always contact your supervisor. More information and practical advice on workplace safety can be found from the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work.


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