Best Practices – Corrosive Materials

Following these basic safe practices will help protect you from the hazards of corrosive materials:

  • Obtain and read the Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs) for all of the materials you work with.
  • Be aware of all of the hazards (fire/explosion, health, chemical reactivity) of the materials you work with.
  • Know which of the materials you work with are corrosives.
  • Store corrosives in suitable labelled containers away from incompatible materials, in a cool, dry area.
  • Store, handle, and use corrosives in well-ventilated areas.
  • Inspect containers for damage or leaks before handling. Never use containers that appear to be swollen.
  • Handle containers safely to avoid damaging them.
  • Dispense corrosives carefully and keep containers closed when not in use.
  • Stir corrosives slowly and carefully into cold water when the job requires mixing corrosives and water.
  • Handle and dispose of corrosive wastes safely.
  • Practice good housekeeping, personal cleanliness and equipment maintenance.
  • Wear the proper personal protective equipment for each of the jobs you do.
  • Know how to handle emergencies (fires, spills, personal injury) involving the corrosive materials you work with.
  • Flush contaminated eyes or skin with water for at least 20-30 minutes, sometimes longer, in case of accidental contact. Call immediately for medical assistance.
  • Never return unused material to the original container. It may contain traces of contamination which may cause a chemical reaction.
  • Do not reuse empty containers — the residue may be hazardous.