Pool chemical-associated injuries can be effectively prevented through employee training program. Injuries from pool chemicals led to nearly 5,000 emergency room visits in 2012, according to a study released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Chemicals are added to pool water to kill disease-causing germs, maximize the efficacy of the disinfection process (for example, pH control), improve water quality, stop corrosion and scaling of equipment, and protect against algal growth. However, pool chemicals can also lead to injury when mixed together or when appropriate personal protective equipment is not used during handling.1
The Pool Chemical Safety 2 video produced by The Chlorine Institute and the American Chemistry Council outlines the safe use of pool chemicals. To view and download this video, go to www.youtube.com/watch?v=yN68d9XvUdo
In addition to the Pool Chemical Safety video, follow these guidelines for safe use and storage of pool chemicals:
Before You Use and Store Pool Chemicals
- Get trained in pool chemical safety.
- Ask for help if you are NOT trained for specific tasks.
- Read the entire product label or Safety Data Sheet (SDS) before using.
- Develop and educate employees on your pool’s Emergency Chemical Response Plan and practice it.
Using Pool Chemicals Safely
- Dress for safety by wearing appropriate safety equipment, such as safety goggles, gloves and mask.
- Read chemical product label before each use:
* Handle chemicals in well-ventilated areas. Open one product container at a time and
close it before opening another.
* Minimize dust, fumes and splashes.
* Measure carefully.
- Never mix:
* Chlorine products with acid, this could create toxic gases.
* Different pool chemicals (e.g., different types of chlorine products) with each other or
with any other substance
- Only pre-dissolve pool chemicals when directed by the product label.
- If the product label directs pre-dissolving, add pool chemical to water; NEVER add water to pool chemical because violent (potentially explosive) reaction can occur.
Storing Pool Chemicals Safely
- Follow product label directions for chemical storage:
- Dress for safety by wearing appropriate safety equipment, such as safety goggles, gloves, and mask.
- Separate incompatible chemicals (e.g., acid and chlorine).
- Lock chemicals up to protect people and animals.
- Keep chemicals dry and do not mix different chemicals (e.g., different types of chlorine products).
- Keep chemicals cool in a well-ventilated area away from direct sunlight.
- Keep chemicals closed in original, labeled container.
- Store liquid chemicals low to prevent accidental contact (e.g., by leaking) with chemicals or substances stored below them.
- Secure the chemical storage area and pump room to limit access.
- Provide locking mechanisms for the chemical controller to prevent unauthorized tampering.
- Follow product label directions for safe disposal; never reuse containers.
- For more information about preventing pool chemical-associated injuries, visit www.cdc.gov/healthyswimming.
Reprinted with permission of the Michigan Apartment Association. Resources: 1Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Recommendations for Preventing Pool Chemical-Associated Injuries; 2 Chlorine Institute, www.chlorineinstitute.org Pool Chemical Safety training video.