Staying Safe when Working with Custom Adhesives

Slowly but surely, more businesses than ever before across Great Britain are beginning to work exclusively, or at least predominantly, with bespoke adhesive products. Working with leading product designers, adhesive tape suppliers, 3M converters and so on, businesses in a wide variety of settings are finding that custom adhesive products enable them to carry out any number of day-to-day processes quicker, easier, safer and for considerably lower costs. Given the fact that each of these advantages represents a core points of focus for any modern business, this is one simple operational switch that really can add up to a big difference.

That being said, what’s important to be aware of when it comes to custom adhesive products is that health and safety must not be taken for granted. While it may be true to say that the vast majority of custom adhesive products are easier and safer to work with the than traditional welding practices, this does not mean that there are not specific risks attached to the handling and use of adhesive products across the board.

So with this in mind, what follows is a brief introduction to just a few of the most important fundamentals when it comes to industrial and commercial adhesive health and safety:

1 – Read the Instructions in Full

First up, the single most important rule when it comes to working with any kind of adhesive products is to first read the instructions in full. Not simply skip through or glance over a few pages here and there – each and every page from front to back should be taken in and acknowledged.  The reason being that even if the adhesive product in question is similar to one that has been used by the company before, this does not mean there may not be important differences when it comes to health and safety. As such, failing to read the instructions in full tends to be one of the most common causes of accidents, injuries and incidents in general, which involve commercial and industrial adhesives.

2 – Assume Nothing

A similar note, it is crucial to assume absolutely nothing with respect to where and how any adhesive can be used safely and effectively.  While a great many brands may release products that suggest as such, one-size-fits-all industrial adhesive products simply do not exist. This is precisely why there are thousands of different adhesive products available and the option of ordering custom adhesive products.  The simple fact of the matter being that if the adhesive was not specifically manufactured for the purpose in question, using it in such a manner represents a risk in its own right.

3 – Always Use Appropriate PPE

Commercial and industrial adhesives are the kinds of everyday products where their associated risks and dangers are not taken seriously, until they present themselves in the most unfortunate manner. Roughly translated, it often takes one or more individuals suffering injury around the workplace for the workforce in general to begin taking seriously the importance of PPE.  The important thing to remember is that PPE exists for a very good reason. That being for the safety and welfare of every member of the workforce, whose individual responsibility it is to ensure that the right equipment is used at the right time.

4 – Never Mix Adhesives

Under no circumstances should two or more adhesive products of any kind be mixed together at any time for any reason and in any kind of ratio whatsoever.  This includes pouring the remnants of one adhesive container into another, should it be possible that the seconds still contains even the slightest trace of what was in it previously. Mixing chemicals together when you don’t understand their properties can potentially lead to the production of toxic discharge, the likes of which could cause anything from serious injury to an elevated fire risk.

5 – Learn Removal Procedures

Last but not least, it is inevitable that from time to time at least a small amount of the adhesive product/s being used will end up somewhere it really shouldn’t be. On a surface, on a piece of machinery or on the skin of those using it.  In all instances, there will always be something of a recommended procedure and protocol for removing it safely. This is something that will be explained in the instructions and should be followed to the letter. The reason being that to attempt to remove any given adhesive in a manner that goes against such recommendations could potentially do far more harm than good.