Industrial Adhesives: Critical Health and Safety Concepts


Contrary to popular belief, commercial and industrial adhesives across the entire spectrum don’t necessarily have to be dangerous. While it’s natural to assume that the most powerful and advanced adhesives on the market constitute a threat, this doesn’t have to be the case at all.  Instead, and just as is the case with most other industrial and commercial tools/supplies, industrial adhesives are as safe or dangerous as you allow them to be.

All across the country, professional 3M tape suppliers are constantly quizzed about the health and safety aspect of the products they supply. The vast majority of manufacturers and businesses in general these days have only the best intentions when it comes to health and safety.  Nevertheless, research would suggest that there’s a lot the average manufacturer doesn’t know about custom adhesive and safety.

On the plus side, getting to grips with the basics is relatively simple. It simply takes a proactive approach that the knowledge meant that health and safety is an important issue. In fact, there are essentially just six primary health and safety concepts to be aware of, which are as follows:

1. Training is mandatory

First and foremost, no member of the workforce should never attempt to use any adhesive product whatsoever, without first being provided with the necessary training. Even if the adhesive product in question seems relatively safe and easy to use, training should still be considered mandatory. The simple fact of the matter is that if anything happens and employee in question was not appropriately trained beforehand, there could be catastrophic consequences for the business.  Appropriate training represents a small price to pay for the sake of health and safety.

2. Always read the instructions

The number of accidents and incidents every year resulting from pure ignorance or laziness is astonishing. In truth, the absolutely anything and everything you could ever need to know about any given adhesive product will be included in the manufacturer’s guidelines. Which means that it’s then up to you to ensure you read and understand them in full.  If you don’t, you take full responsibility for anything untoward that may happen as a result. Once again, simply reading the instructions in full isn’t what you’d call a lot to ask, given its importance as far as health and safety is concerned.

3. Ventilation and circulation

The guidelines and warnings supplied with the adhesive will tell you all you need to know about the importance of ventilation and circulation of air. In some instances, adhesive products release the kinds of powerful and overwhelming vapours that mean they should only ever be used where there is adequate ventilation – perhaps also with personal protective equipment. In other instances, there are no such risks to speak of. Acknowledge these kinds of warnings and ensure that they are acted upon accordingly.

4. Fire and explosion risk

Likewise, it may state clearly in the guidelines supplied by the manufacturer that the adhesive product must never be used near open flames or sources of direct heat. The reason being that given the highly flammable nature of the adhesive, the result could be a fire or even a devastating explosion.  Once again, given that some adhesives are inherently more flammable than others, you need to proceed in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.

5. Removal procedures

In any instance where an adhesive product needs to be removed, there will always be a right and the wrong way of going about it. Which again – as you’ve probably guessed by now – is something that will be covered in the supplied guidelines and warnings. It’s never a good idea to attempt to remove an adhesive product in a manner that isn’t recommended by its manufacturer. The reason being that doing so could make whatever problem you are facing even worse than it already is.

6. Emergency protocol

Last but not least, every member of the workforce working with or in the vicinity of custom adhesive products needs to know exactly how to act in the event of an emergency. Not just accidents and injuries involving themselves, but also what to do in the event that something untoward happens to someone else. As is always the case as far as health and safety is concerned, panicking and making things up as you go along can be counterproductive to say the least.  By ensuring everyone is familiar and comfortable with what they should and should not do in the case of an emergency, overall workplace health and safety improves significantly.