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Chlorine Handling Safety Dos and Don'ts

Chlorine Handling Safety Dos and Don'ts
Chlorine Handling Safety Dos and Don'ts

Chlorine Handling Safety Dos and Don'ts

Chlorine in liquid or gaseous form mainly used in industries. A mixture of bleach with another household product is used to treat drinking water and swimming pool water to kill bacteria. For the manufacture of PVC, approximately 20% of the chlorine produced is used.
Chlorine is yellowish-green in color, highly toxic in nature, pungent odor, and strong oxidizer due to its property of very high electron affinity.
Here are the deadliest properties and hazards of chlorine
  1. Chlorine is a strong oxidizing agent and therefore support combustion. It can also cause or aggravate a fire.
  2. Contains gas under pressure; may explode when heated.
  3. Chlorine gas is denser than air and accumulate at the lower surface spaces.
  4. Exposure by inhalation causes acute inflammation of the respiratory system and may result in death. When the concentrations of chlorine gas is greater than 30 ppm, it reacts with water in our body or saliva or cellular fluid, producing hydrochloric acid and hypochlorous acid.
  5. Causes damage to organs after prolonged or repeated exposure.
  6. Very toxic to aquatic life with long lasting effect
  7. Contact with skin causes irritation and damages / burns skin.
  8. Eye exposure may cause serious eye damage or eye irritation
  9. TLV / TWA = 0.5 ppm, STEL = 1 ppm and IDLH = 10 ppm

Chlorine handling Safety Dos and Don’ts

The following safety Dos and Don’ts can be used to educate workers in industries on the safe handling of chlorine.
  1. Make sure the date of the chlorine tonner or cylinders hydrotest is valid.
  2. Ensure the availability of safety shower and eye wash fountain in chlorine storage and handling area.
  3. Store the chlorine tonners or cylinders in a well ventilated and covered shed.
  4. Display the Safety Data Sheet (SDS) in the shed near the chlorine container.
  5. Keep an accessible space between chlorine tonners or cylinders.
  6. Use appropriate tools for handling chlorine tonners or cylinders.
  7. Wear splash resistant safety goggles with a face shield, and PVC suit with hand gloves while connecting or disconnecting the chlorine cylinders or tonners.
  8. Check for leaks before commissioning or prior to taking into service.
  9. Inspect the condition of piping paint and check the temperature, it will help to detect back flow of water due to failure of check valves.
  10. Use chlorine canister when removing, securing, connecting cylinders or tonners and when checking for leaks.
  11. Use breathing apparatus in the event of an emergency chlorine leak.
  12. Post the chlorine emergency procedure in a prominent place.
  13. Store filled and empty chlorine tonners or cylinders separately.
  14. Keep away from clothing and other combustible materials.
  15. Train and equip personnel for the handling of chlorine.
  16. Regularly monitor the condition of chlorine tonners, cylinders and fittings for leaks or conditions for corrosion or damage.
  17. Regularly calibrate and monitor chlorine detectors.
  18. Stay upwind direction while loading or unloading of chlorine tonners or cylinder.
  19. In case of leak of chlorine tonner from bottom side, rotate the tonner so that leak point should be at vapour phase area to minimize the leakage in liquid form.
  20. In the event of valve leak on a tonner, the tonner should be rolled to bring the leaked valves on top.
  21. Try to stop the leak by using chlorine kit if safe to do so and wash the small spill with large quantity of water thoroughly after handling.
  22. Ensure the availability and healthiness of airline mask or self-contain breathing apparatus (SCBA), emergency handling kit and neutralizing pit.
  23. Maintain the sufficient quantity of neutralizer, the caustic solution, sodium hydroxide, is preferred for the neutralization purpose.

  1. Don’t breathe chlorine gas, fumes, vapor, or spray.
  2. Don’t use or store chlorine tonners or cylinders in wet and muddy area.
  3. Do not eat, drink, or smoke when handling Chlorine gas.
  4. Don’t allow trucks with leaky tonners or cylinders in the factory premises.
  5. Don’t transport tonners or cylinders without protective caps.
  6. Don’t leave the work site while chlorine injection is done.
  7. Don’t store chlorine tonners or cylinders along with hydrogen, sawdust, phosphorous, turpentine, etc.
  8. Don’t stack chlorine cylinders or tonners on top of each other.
  9. Don’t use oil or lubricant on cylinder or tonner valves.
  10. Don’t leave operational cylinders without a hood.
  11. Don’t use a chlorine cylinder valve to regulate the flow.
  12. Never lift the cylinder by its valve protection cover or safety cap.

These Chlorine handling safety Dos and Don’ts can be prepared in pictorial format by using hazard communication signages and displayed in the prominent location  to provide a quick and easy guide for all employees. It can also be used to educate the workers  about safety precautions when handling chlorine.

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