Do you know that alcohol-based hand sanitizer is easily ignitable? Because sanitizer is ubiquitous, it is easy to forget its hazardous characteristics. Common risks associated with hand sanitizers include:

  1.  Fire
  2.  Poisoning
  3.  Skin irritation
  4.  Environmental contamination

Discuss these best practices with employees to mitigate the risk of fire and other sanitizer related hazards:

  • Store bulk sanitizer in an approved flammables cabinet when not in use per the agency’s hazardous materials policy
  • Never place flammable cabinets near staircases, doors, or emergency exit routes
  • Keep sanitizer stations away from sources of ignition including thermostats, outlets, and other electrical appliances
  • Never remove labels from sanitizer bottles
  • If using a secondary container to dispense sanitizer, maintain proper labeling (refer to the agency’s hazard communication policy)
  • Ensure secondary dispensers are compatible with the sanitizer both chemically, and functionally
  • Sanitize the dispenser periodically throughout the day
  • If dry skin or irritation develops, notify your supervisor to discuss alternatives
  • Avoid sanitizers with dyes, scents, or perfumes
  • Place a mat underneath the dispenser if spillage creates a slip hazard
  • Do not smoke cigarettes, use spark generating tools, or eat immediately after using hand sanitizer
  • To prevent stinging, use a bandage over cuts or skin abrasions
  • Rinse empty containers with water and dispose according to the agency’s hazardous materials policy

Contact the Risk Control Department for additional questions or assistance.