How to Stay Safe When Handling Industrial Adhesives

Posted on May 19, 2016

It’s no secret that the term ‘handle with care’ applies very much when it comes to adhesive products. Nevertheless, it is all the more relevant and important when it comes to the kinds of commercial and industrial adhesives used for heavy-duty purposes. Given the fact that these are the kinds of products that mean business, it simply makes sense to exercise due caution around them.

Of course, working with a high quality 3M tape supplier or custom adhesive manufacturer means gaining access to their knowledge, expertise and advice when it comes to staying safe. Specific rules with regard to handling, application and general safety will always vary significantly from one product to the next.  That being said, there are certain universal rules of comprehensive importance which apply across the board without exception.

So while it may come across as rudimentary and basic, it is still more than worth revisiting the following six safety tips from time to time, just to make sure everyone is playing by the same rules:

1 – Buy Quality Products

First of all, the most important rule when it comes to staying safe around industrial adhesives is to buy high quality products in the first place. Quite simply, the quality of the product itself will play a significant role in determining how hazardous or otherwise it is in various capacities. From corrosiveness to flammability to toxic fumes and so on, it is always worth siding with products and manufacturers of the highest possible quality, in order to tick all health and safety boxes.

2 – Use Only as Instructed

Undoubtedly, the most obvious rule of all also tends to be the most commonly overlooked or ignored. It’s not as if the vast majority of people aren’t aware of the importance of reading the instructions top to bottom, before getting to work with an industrial adhesive. Nevertheless, whether it’s a case of trying to save time or simply making assumptions having used plenty of adhesives before, it’s comparatively rare to come across a person who actually does read the instructions in full. Nevertheless, to skip over any of the instructions provided whatsoever is to roll the dice with fate. After all, if you haven’t taken into account all applicable safety rules, you won’t know how many you are breaking.

3 – Store Safely

Safe storage is another example of an extremely simple health and safety rule which is routinely overlooked. Safe storage is important for two reasons – the first of which being to preserve the quality and integrity of the product itself.  Other than this however, simple rules like storing industrial adhesives below eye level, making sure their containers are sufficiently labelled and keeping tabs on things like temperature and ventilation all play significant roles in health and safety management. It’s a fundamentally easy box to tick, so there’s really no excuse for not doing so.

4 – Wear Protective Gear

More often than not, employees that choose not to use personal protective equipment do so because to date they feel they have not needed it. Which may of course be true, but when the day comes around when PPE could have prevented a serious accident or injury, it’s safe to say you will regret not using it. It’s important to remember that when it comes to things like industrial adhesives, it takes nothing more than the tiniest accidental ‘flick’ at the wrong moment to send something extremely dangerous flying into an unprotected eye.  Given the fact that donning the necessary PPE isn’t exactly difficult, not doing so is a risk not worth taking.

5 – Know All Relevant Health and Safety Rules

One golden rule when it comes to health and safety is that of being prepared for every eventuality, regardless of how unlikely it may be. In this instance, it basically means ensuring that you and everyone else around you know exactly what to do should there be an accident or incident involving an industrial adhesive. From safe removal techniques to emergency medical procedures and so on, you simply must know what to do in the event of an accident, just in case the worst should happen.

6 – Never Mix or Transfer Storage

Last but not least, another critically important rule to follow with industrial adhesive products is to never under any circumstances mix two or more products together. Contrary to popular belief, this also means never taking one product and transferring it into the container of a different product, unless you can be 100% certain that not a single trace of the previous product has been left behind.  Mixing industrial chemicals can have devastating consequences – even if one or both are only present in trace amounts.