|The use of hazardous industrial chemicals is strictly controlled and regulated, and those who worked with such substances are aware of the specific first aid and safety requirements. For most people, contact with dangerous industrial chemicals will be through a chemical spill at a road accident or a problem at an engineering plant.
Many industrial chemicals can be absorbed through the skin or inhaled, so it is important not to approach an accident scene unless you are sure you can do safely. If you are at all unsure of the risk, do not approach the scene. Instead, call 911 immediately, giving as much information about the incident as you can. Encourage victims who can to move away from the source of danger.
Where possible, remove the victim from the chemical. If this is not possible, ensure that the area is well-ventilated (open doors and windows). If in doubt, do not stay in the room yourself. Many chemicals have no odor or obvious effect and you may not be aware that you are being poisoned.
- Monitor and maintain the victim’s airway and breathing and be prepared to resuscitate.
- If the victim becomes unconscious, place in the recovery position.
- If the victim is conscious, help into the most comfortable position. If there are breathing problems, this position is most likely to be sitting up.
- Call 911 and provides as much information as you can.
Poisons on the skin
Call 911 and reassure the victim until help arrives.
- Do not contaminate yourself. Wear protective clothing if available.
- Wash away the chemical with water, taking care to flush the contaminated water away from both yourself and the victim.
- Monitor and maintain the victim’s airway and breathing and be prepared to resuscitate if necessary.