Basic HSE information about Chromium-VI and set of tools to be used at work
- Only start to work once you are certain about the presence, or absence, of Chromium-VI.
- Make sure there is effective ventilation.
- Avoid the spreading of dust and avoid blast-cleaning abrasives as much as possible. Tidy up the work area daily.
- Clean your tools properly, and do not take your PPE and work clothes to clean areas.
- Use the PPE correctly. Dispose of contaminated PPE and clothing.
WHAT IS IT?
Chromium-VI is a known carcinogen. It is the oxidized state of the element Chromium. The oxidized state is of principal concern in occupational safety and health and the environment because of its extreme toxicity and designation as a human carcinogen.
It is usually produced by an industrial process. Chromium-VI compounds may be used as pigments in dyes, paints, inks, and plastics. It also may be used as an anticorrosive agent added to paints, primers, and other surface coatings. The Chromium-VI compound chromic acid is used to electroplate Chromium onto metal parts to provide a decorative or protective coating.
Chromium-VI can be released into the air. For example during stainless steel welding (in the welding fumes). It can also occur in gas turbines, for example, in places where galvanized (Chrome) pastes have been added, and where heating causes yellow Chromium-VI deposits to form.
Chromium-VI is particularly hazardous when it appears in the form of dust particles suspended in the air. These particles can come into contact, or enter, your body through your lungs, through sweat on your skin, or through your mouth. This can be harmful to your health. For example, it can lead to work-related asthma, eye, skin and respiratory tract irritation, liver and kidney damage, lung diseases, and respiratory tract cancer.
Please note: the symptoms mentioned are general and may vary according to exposure in specific work situations and per person. When in doubt, always consult a Health and Safety expert or an occupational physician.
Make sure there is effective ventilation in the workplace and that the presence of Chromium-VI is under control before you start working. If the presence, or absence, of Chromium-VI cannot be determined, stop working immediately and inform your manager.
When welding, sanding, cutting, burning, blasting or cleaning materials suspected (or confirmed) of having Chromium-VI, the work area must be cordoned off.
- always use the correct (extra) Personal Protective Equipment, depending on the type of activity; ask your company about this
- remove all dust from your clothing on leaving the abrasive blasting and workplace
- wipe your Personal Protective Equipment with a damp cloth before you take it off
- wash your hands and face thoroughly before every coffee, smoking and/or lunch break, when work has finished, and before and after using the toilet
- after work, turn your disposable work clothes inside-out, wrap them in plastic, and dispose of them
IN CASE OF...
Any incident that occurs during work can have severe impact on people, installations and the environment. Make sure that you are familiar with the right procedure in case incidents happen. If not, ask your company for further information.
Unsafe working conditions should never be ignored and should always be kept in mind to avoid hazards.
Start your daily work with safety!
Onscreen presentation is very useful to use during work preparation or toolbox meetings. It provides short and concrete information. Five questions and answers at the end of presentation can be used to make the meeting more interactive and to give conversation a boost.
Be always prepared for the work!
It is of utmost importance to be well prepared before you start the work.
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