Working with Toxic Chemicals Safely

December 17, 2015

Many chemicals used in agriculture, including fertilisers, pesticides, herbicides, animal medication, cleaning agents and solvents, are hazardous to your health. Before you begin working with any chemical, identify its potential hazards, become familiar with how to best protect yourself and be aware of the procedures to follow if an incident takes place.

General Safety Precautions

The manufacturer’s label and Safety Data Sheet (SDS) for each chemical you handle provide important information regarding hazards, the use of personal protective equipment (PPE), proper handling, transport, storage and disposal of chemicals. Each time you encounter a chemical, read this information and take the appropriate precautions. In addition, the following recommendations apply when working with any toxic chemical.



If a co-worker is exposed to a toxic chemical, consult the SDS and the product label before taking action. The correct response to exposure is as important as immediate action.

If the injured or ill person is having trouble breathing, is having convulsions or is unconscious, provide the necessary first aid and call 9-9-9.

If the injured or ill person does not have any of the symptoms listed above, contact NHS Direct on 0845 4647. When calling, keep the chemical container handy to accurately instruct the operator about the type of exposure the person has experienced. He or she will then be able to give you correct instructions.

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