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Isopropyl Alcohol is immensely useful. It’s a great disinfectant, it can be brilliantly effective as a cleaning agent and it’s used in a wide range of different industries on a daily basis. But that doesn’t mean that the solution is harmless. In fact, when used incorrectly, Isopropyl Alcohol can be a very dangerous substance.
The solution is potentially hazardous when inhaled. It can be absorbed through the skin to cause Isopropyl Alcohol poisoning, and it’s also highly flammable. So, if your staff are handling Isopropyl Alcohol or you use it in your home, you’ll need to be aware of how to do so safely. Take a look at our Isopropyl Alcohol safety tips to make sure you’re using and storing Isopropyl Alcohol the right way.
Handling Isopropyl Alcohol
Isopropyl Alcohol is incredibly strong, and it’s easily absorbed through the skin. If large amounts of the substance are absorbed in this way, a person can quickly start to suffer the effects of Isopropyl Alcohol poisoning. These include anything from relatively minor symptoms such as headaches, nausea and dizziness, to far more serious side effects like breathing problems, seizures and ultimately death.
If you, or a member of your team, regularly handles Isopropyl Alcohol in their daily work, then they will need to be adequately protected from the risk of it being absorbed through the skin. We recommend safety barriers such as protective clothing and gloves, along with safety goggles to protect the eyes. If a person is adequately protected, then the risks associated with handling Isopropyl Alcohol are soon minimised.
Training Staff on the Use of Isopropyl Alcohol
One of the main dangers with the use of Isopropyl Alcohol in the workplace is simply a lack of knowledge or experience in doing so. If teams are not well trained on how to use Isopropyl Alcohol, and what to avoid when doing so, then they run the risk of making blunders that could have serious effects on their health. Therefore, before any team member begins using Isopropyl Alcohol, we always recommend that they undergo extensive training on the potential risks associated with these solutions.
Training programmes should include everything from the benefits of using Isopropyl Alcohol, to the things to avoid when doing so. Staff should be fully briefed on what to wear when handling Isopropyl Alcohol, how to avoid inhaling Isopropyl Alcohol and what they need to do to limit the risk of fires when using this highly flammable liquid. If teams are fully briefed and understand the risks associated with Isopropyl Alcohol, they’ll be far less likely to fall foul of any of the dangers it poses.
How to Store Isopropyl Alcohol
Isopropyl Alcohol is flammable, and it should be stored accordingly. We recommend that the liquid is stored in a specialised flame-proof cabinet, and is always kept well away from any sources of ignition. It’s worth noting that it’s not just the liquid itself that needs to be kept away from naked flames. The fumes of Isopropyl Alcohol are also flammable, and can quickly cause a fire if the solution is not being handled correctly.
Isopropyl Alcohol should always be kept in a clearly labelled bottle. Ideally these bottles should also display the full list of safety warnings associated with this substance. So, even if a person picks the solution up accidentally, they won’t be at risk of serious harm from using it incorrectly. Bottles of Isopropyl Alcohol should also detail the poisoning risks associated with the solutions, with eye-catching warnings that can’t easily be missed.
Food Preparation and Isopropyl Alcohol
Isopropyl Alcohol is incredibly dangerous when ingested, and particularly so if the amounts consumed are considerable. So, food and Isopropyl Alcohol should never mix! There have been cases of Isopropyl Alcohol being accidentally ingested, as it’s been mistaken for a beverage. So it’s advised that Isopropyl Alcohol is never stored near beverages, and it’s kept well away from staff canteens and break rooms.
Never decant smaller amounts of Isopropyl Alcohol into bottles that could be mistaken for drinking vessels, and never leave Isopropyl Alcohol lying around in any areas where food might be prepared. If you follow these simple rules, and ensure that all team members do the same, then the risk of anyone accidentally consuming a large amount of Isopropyl Alcohol will be minimal.
Know what to do in an emergency
Unfortunately, even if you and your team all follow the rules as well as you possibly can, there’s always a risk that an accident might happen. So we recommend that you brush up on the best course of action for every eventuality, and train your staff in what to do in case of an emergency.
Make sure you know what to do if a person gets Isopropyl Alcohol into their eyes (flush with saline solution for at least 20 minutes), or a person comes into contact with Isopropyl Alcohol and it is absorbed through their skin (remove contaminated clothing immediately and wash thoroughly with soap and water).
If you know what to do in an emergency, you’ll be able to respond quickly and effectively - and no one will panic! This tends to limit the impact that the accident will have, and it gives the injured person the best chance of making a swift and full recovery. Of course, if problems persist you’ll need to contact the emergency services, who will be able to provide expert medical attention if required.
Isopropyl Alcohol is an enormously effective cleaning solution, and it’s well used in a huge range of workplaces where cleanliness is of the utmost importance. But of course there are downsides to the use of Isopropyl Alcohol, especially if staff aren’t well trained on how to use it and what to avoid while doing so.
Make sure your team is fully briefed on the dangers of Isopropyl Alcohol and keep a copy of our Isopropyl Alcohol safety tips at hand to check that your workplace isn’t at risk of any of the dangers associated with this substance. If you have any questions regarding the use of Isopropyl Alcohol, don’t hesitate to get in touch.