When it comes to health and safety, one of the most important things to bear in mind is that all custom adhesive products are different. The very reason why any business would choose to work with bespoke adhesive tape manufacturers in the first place is to create and obtain an adhesive that is far from generic. Otherwise, they’d simply pick something up off a standard shelf.
When adhesive products are created specifically for individual purposes, they will inherently have unique properties and therefore different health and safety requirements. That said, there are certain fundamental health and safety guidelines which apply to absolutely all custom adhesives across the board.
The most important thing to remember when it comes to health and safety is that while it may come across as cliché, it is everyone’s responsibility without exception. Even in instances where health and safety managers are assigned and take control over key issues, no workplace can be considered safe unless everyone plays a role. Where industrial adhesives are being used, this in its own right immediately raises additional health and safety concerns, which may not be applicable elsewhere.
So while the application and indeed the exact properties of any custom adhesive products will always vary considerably, what follows is an overview of the five most important health and safety guidelines, which apply to all instances, areas and custom industrial adhesives across the board:
1 – Read the Instructions
First and foremost, you must never even consider working with or even handling and industrial adhesive product, until you have first rate the instructions supplied by the manufacturer. Even if it is a product that is largely similar to what you have handled before, there may be very slight difference is in its formulation which make a big difference in terms of health and safety. The simple fact of the matter is that you need to know what it is you are working with, in order to handle it safely. And if anything isn’t made comprehensively clear and easy to understand, it is your responsibility to reach out to the manufacturer and clarify everything, before putting the product to use. The more you know, the better the position you’ll be in as far as health and safety is concerned.
2 – Ventilation
Unless it is specifically specified otherwise in the instructions and guidelines, you need to assume that it is categorically hazardous to use the product in question anywhere without sufficient ventilation. The reason being that the overwhelming majority of industrial adhesive product across the board can (and often do) give off the kinds of vapours and emissions that you really do not want to be breathing in. Even if they are relatively mild or difficult to detect by way of smell or taste, this doesn’t mean that they aren’t slowly but surely doing you quite a lot of harm. And when the guidelines issued call for good ventilation, this does not mean a tiny window cracked open a couple of a centimetres, somewhere at the other end of the room.
3 – Personal Protective Equipment
The vast majority of people working in potentially hazardous environments in the UK today are occasionally guilty of flouting PPE guidelines. The reason in most cases being that as they have never been exposed to a potentially dangerous accident or incident, they’ve fallen into a false sense of security. The problem being that it is when this happens that it is most likely for something quite terrible to occur. From gloves to goggles to protective masks and so on, you only need to be exposed to something hazardous once while not wearing the required PPE to suffer potentially life changing injuries. So before doing so, you really need to ask yourself the question – is it worth the risk?
4 – Fire Risk
Something that will also always differ from one adhesive product to the next is its respective fire risk. While some custom adhesives are safe to be used in most conditions, others are prone to bursting into flames at the slightest hint of heat. Exactly where your own adhesive product lies on this scale is something only your manufacturer (and the instructions they supply) can tell you, but it is nonetheless critically important to acknowledge the fact that adhesives in general almost always represent fire hazards in their own right.
5 – Emergency Procedures
Last but not least, if you are working in a situation where any adhesive product has the potential to cause an accident, injury, fire or any other kind of dangerous/unfortunate situation, you need to be aware of the relevant emergency procedures. And not only you, but absolutely everyone else in the workplace also needs to know what to do in an emergency. Often times, it’s what happens (or fails to happen) in the immediate moment after an accident that will determine exactly how severe the consequences are. Suffice to say, dozens of people simply standing around without a clue what to do represents a perfect recipe for disastrous results.