Best practices for working with liquid nitrogen

On Behalf of | Apr 21, 2020 | Workers' Compensation |

If you work in a lab in Minnesota, you may be asked to work with liquid nitrogen. Even if you don’t work directly with the substance, you could work in close proximity to it, which could increase your risk of getting hurt or sick.

Oxygen displacement is a possibility

A unit of liquid nitrogen can grow by up to 700 times when it is converted into a gas. This means that it can quickly replace the oxygen in a given space within a relatively short period of time. As this material is odorless and colorless, it may not be possible to realize that anything is wrong before succumbing to the effects of asphyxiation.

Tissue damage is possible

If liquid nitrogen comes into contact with your arms, eyes or face, it could cause immediate and long-term tissue damage. Therefore, it is important to wear gloves, goggles or other protective equipment when working with it. Furthermore, it is important to wear protective equipment or take other precautions when attempting to fix a liquid nitrogen leak. Ideally, you will wear long pants and shirts with long sleeves to reduce the amount of skin that could be exposed to this potentially hazardous chemical.

Employees must be given proper training

If you are asked to use or handle liquid nitrogen, you must first be given the training necessary to do so safely. A training program should teach you how to use protective equipment or safety devices as well as what to do in an emergency situation. Ideally, you will be taught how to pour or transfer this material in a manner that will avoid or minimize spills or splashes.

In the event that you are injured while handling hazardous materials, you could be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits . An attorney may be able to help you prepare and submit your claim.

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