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Guide to handling hazardous materials

Junk removal tips - January 29, 2020

Hazardous materials are present in most homes. These items range from simple fuel all the way to live ammunition and explosives. The fact of the matter is that these items require special handling. When handling hazardous materials, you need to pay attention to detail. There are rules that govern this and we present them to you. Another thing to note, before you start gauging the cost of junk removal service, is that hazardous materials often have higher costs associated with them. This is, of course, due to their dangerous nature. These items are usually best left to the professionals but with some care, you can handle them just fine. So, with that in mind, let’s see:

Handling hazardous materials – How to do it right?

Like mentioned before, there are rules that govern the handling of these items. Of course, it all depends on the nature of the item in question, you don’t need to be really careful with your lawnmower fuel but handling radioactive waste warrants further preparation. All in all, if you are in the store for junk removal Natick MA, for example, the best thing is to contact professionals and seek their advice. Another thing to note is that moving these materials is different than moving regular items. Many movers will not accept that.

Finally, you can place them in storage. However, even this has limitations as there are some storage units that will not be so good for holding these items. Most of the time they need to be dry and cool areas.

gas
Carefully handle all hazardous materials!

Rules for handling hazardous materials

While these are not really set in stone, you may consider them to be general guidelines for hazardous materials. If you are to take one thing, or one word, from all those rules, it would be cautious.

Rule #1

The first rule is to follow procedures that are already in effect that concern these materials. Simple enough, if there are procedures that govern their use, transport, or handling, make sure to follow them. Usually, materials will come with such documentation.

Rule #2

The second rule is to always plan ahead, with caution. If you notice that there are dangers around, make sure to at least properly acknowledge them. Of course, the best course of action is to eliminate any sources of danger altogether. But that is usually not possible so limit any dangerous influence to the best of your ability.

Rule #3

Make sure that your materials are inside properly labeled containers. Each type of hazardous material needs to have its own container. Every container needs to have a proper label. Simple enough. You need to know, at a glance, which materials are in which containers. Especially if you have lots of different types.

stickers
Make sure to label each box properly.

Rule #4

Before handling hazardous materials, make sure to read all the labels and their safety data sheets. You need to understand all the hazards that these materials pose. When you do, you can then take the necessary precautions.

Rule #5

Never use the materials for the purpose they were not intended for. An example of this would be using industrial solvents to clean your hands. And yet another is to clean machinery with gasoline. Always stick to the material’s intended use. This goes for any type of material but is even more important with hazardous ones.

Rule #6

Never, ever, drink or eat while you are working with hazardous materials. Even after you finish with the work, your hands might still be contaminated. Make sure to properly clean your hands before applying any cosmetics or handling contact lenses. You can’t be careful enough on this one and I can’t stress enough how important this is. The damage that you might incur might be permanent. So stay safe, always!

Rule #7

Some types of hazardous materials don’t play well with each other. You need to know which ones are incompatible and store them accordingly. Make sure that your storage area is well ventilated, dry and cool. Too many accidents happen because incompatible materials are together in inadequate locations. Don’t fall victim to this, make the right choice of storage!

Rule #8

Always keep your work area clean. Never leave any trace of hazardous material simply lying around, for anyone to encounter. Again, make sure to wash every part of your body that has been in contact with these materials thoroughly. Be careful and avoid injuries! However, you should declutter at least once per year and prevent junk piling up in your home.

clutter
Prevent junk from piling up! Declutter annually!

Rule #9

Know your emergency procedures. The thing is, whenever you are handling these types of materials, there is a possibility of a serious accident. You need to know what happens if there is an emergency. This knowledge needs to be somewhere in your mind, ready to pop out. Especially if you are handling these materials in a public place. Safety first, always!

Another thing that you might want to brush on if you are planning on working with hazardous items a lot is medical knowledge. Want it or not, accidents do happen. You need to know how to help yourself or someone else in the case of a medical emergency.

Storage options and hazardous materials

The best place to store hazardous materials is a climate-controlled storage unit. If you don’t know what to do with all those items that you possess, that is the clear sign that you need a storage unit.  Simple enough. However, this kind of storage might not always be available. If that is the case, you need to find a storage unit that is dry first and foremost. Many hazardous materials do not play nice with water and you do not want to explore exactly how. Simply do not store them anywhere that you might suspect has any moisture in it.

The next thing you need to look for is heat. The ideal storing place is cool. Depending on the type of hazardous materials involved, this becomes less of a problem and more of a necessity. If there is any chance that anything might explode or otherwise cause damage if heated enough, you need a really cool place.

Again, if you were to summarize this article in two words, they would be “preparation” and “caution”.

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