Make sure containers are labeled before use, and properly dispose of the entire contents (and container) when done.
Remember the guy who picked up the wrong can of Coke and took a swig before realizing some tobacco chewer had been spitting into that can? Everybody else thought that was hilarious.
But what happened here? Can we relate this situation to a dangerous chemical scenario?
- No chain of custody on the container. It was just sitting around.
- Container was used with original label instead of new label, misidentifying its actual contents.
- Container was open, rather than sealed.
If that can had contained a solvent, the results could have been tragic. But notice the three errors just mentioned. Any one of them can lead to using the wrong thing.
Compounding the problem of containers that have the wrong label or no label at all, there’s important safety information on product labels.
Typically, this problem arises because somebody needs to use a small amount of a solvent or other chemical. So they transfer some from the actual product container to a small “working” container. Always label this container before use, and properly dispose of the entire contents (and container) when done.