Caustic soda ( Sodium Hydroxide, NaOH) is the most significant commercial caustic (strongly alkaline) chemical produced in world and extensively employed in industry However, it is corrosive to living tissue in presence of moisture and a strong irritant to eyes, mucous membranes and skin.
problem 1: Throughout industrial processes caustic soda in pellet form has to be employed in liquid form and hence dissolved in water. Describe the hazards associated with the mixing process and safe practices to be observed.
problem 2: You have been newly hired as safety and health officer of a textile company where caustic soda solution is extensively employed in bleaching process. The existing mixing equipment employed by the workers to prepare caustic soda solution comprises an upright chemical barrel with a lid and agitator as shown below.
Traditional Chemical Barrel
Upright Design with Agitator and Lid
i) What main risk do the workers have to encounter when adding the caustic soda to water in the barrel?
ii) Illustrate out how you would improve or redesign the barrel configuration to make the operation safer for the workers. You may draw a diagram to demonstrate your answer. Start by listing the requirements for a safe mixing operation.
iii) What additional equipment would you provide the workers in case there is a splash of caustic soda solution on them?
problem 3: Illustrate out how a spill of caustic soda solution may be contained and safely cleaned up?