Brew City Solutions takes personal safety seriously. The products we sell are industrial cleaners and they all pose some inherent hazard to the user. You, the consumer, have a right to know what these hazards are, and we feel it’s our responsibility to present this information to you in a clear and forthright fashion. Be assured that we will never understate the hazard potential of a product to enhance its “salability.”
All of our products can be used safely by simply taking basic precautions, having and using the appropriate protective clothing, and using common sense.
Here’s where we get redundant, but we can’t say it often enough. Every product we sell, from a near neutral cleaner to a strong acid or alkali can and will cause damage to your eyes, if contact occurs and the appropriate first aid action is not taken immediately. Our products are not unique in this. This holds true for all our competitors products, and household cleaners as well. We’ve all gotten shampoo or bar soap in our eyes and experienced the sting. On the pH scale, these products are about as mild as it gets. However, even they will do damage to your eyes if you don’t rinse them out.
Rule number one: Keep it out of your eyes! Don’t let any chemical product get in you eye to begin with. Always wear eye protection. A face shield and safety goggles are recommended.
Rule number two: If you get it in you eye, get it out immediately! When working with concentrated cleaners and chemicals, the time it takes to get to first aid (water) is of extreme importance. Always have quick and unrestricted access to a source of cool, clean, running water that can be used to flush your eyes. While a running hose is a great source, better yet, spend the money, buy and install an eyewash station.
Before you start the cleaning task, know where your best source of first aid (water) is and how you’re going to get to it if an accident occurs . . . and that shouldn’t be down two flights of stairs and through a locked door. Twenty unobstructed feet to water is a good rule.
Rule number three – Keep it off your skin. Very few cleaning chemicals are neutral. They are typically alkaline or acid. Accordingly, almost all cleaning chemicals can cause some degree of damage to the skin, ranging from simple irritation to an all out chemical burn – the severity depending on the strength of the chemical and contact time. Rubber gloves are always required, and depending on the product, a rubber apron and rubber boots may be a good addition. Once again, unrestricted access to water is a must. A long sleeved shirt and trousers should be worn. And here’s a life experience hint – always have a change of clothes around. It’s bad enough having to strip down after getting doused, it’s worse when you’ve got nothing to put on. Never reuse dirty clothes. Wash them, and wash them again. And, don’t wait to rinse. When you first feel the irritation start, rinse it off.
Rule number four – Never mix chemical products. That’s OUR job. Even similar products may be incompatible and can result in a violent reaction. Rule number five – Never mix a chlorinated product with any other material, and never allow a product containing chlorine to come in contact with an acid. Chlorine is a toxic, volatile gas. We’re able to incorporate it in cleaning products by putting it into an alkaline medium. Eliminate the alkaline medium by neutralizing it with an acid (contact with an acid product) and chlorine gas will be released. This can be deadly.
Remember, things combine in the drain. Always thoroughly dilute any spent cleaning solution, or unused dilution as they are being released to the drain.
Rule number six – When making a dilution, always add the cleaning chemical to the volume of water that it’s being diluted in. Never add water to the straight chemical. Since the pH of a strong alkaline or acid moves towards 7 as it’s diluted with water, “neutralization” is occurring. Neutralization always generates heat. By adding the chemical to the dilution water, the heat generated is “absorbed” by the volume of water in the vessel. Do it the other way around and the water hitting the chemical can instantaneously boil and “explode” back onto the operator.
Rule Number seven – Keep all containers stored properly and closed tight. Keep containers closed to avoid contamination and potential accidents. We’ve seen open bleach bottles sitting on top of an open drum of an acid cleaner. If somebody were to bump a bottle over it could easily result in a building evacuation and an unwelcome visit from the local “on-the-spot news team.”
Rule number eight – Store cleaning chemicals out of the way of those who may not be knowledgeable in their hazards. While a five gallon pail makes a convenient stool to sit on, it’s probably not a good idea.
Rule number nine – Every employee has a right to know what the hazards are of the materials they use or just stumble upon in their workplace. We deal in cleaning compounds and sanitizers. On the basic level, our products are chemicals and chemicals can conjure up all sorts of ideas and fears in the end user. Factual knowledge and information is very important. The user needs to know that the use of our products will not promote the growth of another head or premature dementia, but can do some pretty nasty damage to their eyes and skin if precautions aren’t taken.
Hazard information is contained in our Material Safety Data Sheets supplied with each shipment and posted on this site. These sheets should be made accessible to all employees. Be sure to read the labels on the products we supply. Take the warnings literally. We also have a free safety video that we are pleased to provide to our customers.
Rule number ten – Do it every time. Don’t get complacent where safety is concerned. The smaller the job is, the more often you’ve done it, the more likely an accident is to occur because corners are cut.