In many situations, individuals are urged to read a product's directions in order to understand how it works. With medicine, for example, people want to know how the ingredients will possibly affect them. When it comes to dangerous materials though, clear and concise chemical labels can determine employee and customer safety.
Dangerous chemicals, such as certain gases or pesticides, might need to be stored in a particular temperature or only be near specific items that will not cause certain reactions. Failure to comply with these instructions could cause the chemicals to react in a negative way, with perhaps disastrous consequences.
A West Virginia plant had a chemical explosion occur on Monday, and while it is unclear what caused the incident, other companies would be wise to take note and ensure that all of their items are properly stored.
According to The West Virginia Gazette, 50 cylinders of acetylene – a gas used for welding and torch material – exploded at the Airgas Mid America plant in Putnam County. Officials told the news source that two workers have been hospitalized and a highway near the building was temporarily closed.
Doug Barker works about half a mile away from the Airgas plant, and told the news source that he and his co-workers heard and felt the blasts.
"The first one was really big," Barker said. "Then there were a series of smaller [explosions]. Since it was at the Airgas facility, it was probably a bunch of smaller tanks going off."
Companies that are involved in the production or even storage of hazardous materials must ensure that every item, no matter its size, has proper descriptions that adhere to GHS labeling standards. This can hopefully prevent similar situations from happening in the future.