Corrocion

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Safety with

CORROSIVE CHEMICALS

Published by the Department of Labour - New Zealand
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Important Note: All the publications in the Archive contain the best guidance available at the time of publishing. However, you should consider the effect of any changes to the law since then. You should also check that the Standards referred to are still current.

ISBN0-477-03433-0 First Edition: 1984 2nd edition (revised): 1988 The Department of Labour acknowledges the assistance of the Department of Health in the preparation of this booklet

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Contents
Introduction ......................................................................................... 5 Effects on the body............................................................................... 5 Hazard assessment ............................................................................... 6 Transport and delivery .......................................................................... 6 Storage and transfer .............................................................................. 8 Protective clothing and equipment ..................................................... 10Eyewashes and showers ..................................................................... 11 Dealing with spillages ........................................................................ 12 Notes on common corrosives ............................................................. 13 First aid measures ............................................................................... 13 Making upcaustic soda solutions ....................................................... 15 Accident case histories ....................................................................... 16 Legislative requirements ..................................................................... 18

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Introduction
The Factories and Commercial Premises Act 1981 requires occupiers to report to theDepartment of Labour any accident causing “serious bodily injury” that is, any injury necessitating an absence from work for 48 hours or more. From these reports it is clear that corrosive chemicals, either acids or alkalis, are involved in the majority of chemical accidents. Although many of these accidents do not result in long-term absence from work, the potential nevertheless exists for severe injury.Corrosive chemicals are used, in one form or another, in the majority of New Zealand factories. Thus many workers are potentially at risk. This booklet outlines the various hazards posed by corrosive chemicals and the safe work practices necessary to minimise those hazards.

Effects on the body
The most serious effect of acids and alkalis is the burning and destruction they cause to bodytissues. The eyes are particularly vulnerable to such damage. The severity of injury depends on the concentration of the corrosive material and the length of time it is in contact with the body. Thus concentrated acids and alkalis present a much greater hazard than dilute acids and alkalis. Inhalation of the mists of corrosive chemicals or ingestion (swallowing) of liquids can also be .

Worker wearsface mask to avoid breathing dust while weighing solid caustic soda 5

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harmful. Ingestion of corrosives causes burns to the sensitive lining of the mouth, gullet and stomach. Inhalation of corrosive mists (or dusts) causes irritation and burns to the inner lining of the windpipe and lungs. In addition to the corrosive effects on the body, acids with oxidising properties, such as nitricacid, can also present a fire hazard.

Transport and delivery
LaRGE VOLUMES OF CORROSIVES ARE most often transported in bulk tankers or tank wagons with capacities of 3000 litres or more. At the factory site, transfer is then made into largecapacity storage tanks. The transport of bulk corrosives must be in accordance with the Toxic Substances Regulations, 1983 and its Amendment No. 1...
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