Interview with Mickaël Dupont: ‘Diphoterine® solution is active, unlike water’
In charge of hygiene, safety, and the environment in a factory located in Villers Saint-Paul, Mickaël Dupont gives his advice to protect workers using Diphoterine® solution, among others.
Prevor: What is your role with your employees?
Mickaël Dupont: I’m a health, safety, and environment technician. I’m in charge of staff safety and the application of French standards and regulations. I’m in the field, in contact with employees, to check that they are well protected with their PPE (personal protective equipment). I also provide solutions if they are in difficulty.
Prevor: What actions do you implement to limit worker exposure to chemical risk?
M.D. : Everything is in place to avoid this kind of inconvenience. We are implementing protective actions to limit the exposure of our employees and subcontractors to chemicals, but we can never be 100% safe, there is no such thing as zero risk, and Diphoterine® is a very effective way to deal with this type of chemical burn. Our Villers Saint-Paul site is equipped with Diphoterine® (one aerosol and two eye sprays), kept in cases hung on the wall in each laboratory. Our unloading areas also have a 5l extinguisher.
Prevor: What benefits of using Diphoterine® solution instead of spring to mind?
M.D. : Diphoterine® solution is active, unlike water which will only rinse the chemical on the surface. This rinsing method does not prevent the chemical from penetrating the skin and has no absorbing effect. It takes long minutes of rinsing to be effective, unlike Diphoterine® solution. This solution has this absorbing effect, considerably reducing the risk of wounds on the skin and in the eyes.
Prevor: From a psychological point of view, what should you do if a worker panics after a chemical burn?
M.D. : If the worker panics, we can get to them with the Diphoterine® to relieve the pain in less than a minute. It’s more complicated if we have to move a burned colleague to a water shower. We lose time and especially the means to extract the corrosive chemical. Stress can also cause the person to forget what they need to do and potentially lose time. To be more effective, we can quickly relieve a burn with Diphoterine® solution. Since we started using this product, we have had no negative feedback and it has even had a positive psychological effect on workers.
“Water doesn’t get into the pores, it only rinses.”
Prevor: Does using water showers to treat the injured person present a risk of hypothermia compared to Diphoterine® solution?
M.D. : Shower water is not always heated, it’s between 15 and 20 degrees when the shower is used. The person needs to stay under the water until the emergency services arrive, which can take several minutes. Between the emotional shock and the water temperature, a person can quickly go into hypothermia. Diphoterine® solution, which is an active solution, requires a smaller amount to be effective, limiting the risks mentioned above. I can give the example of a person who touched his neck with a glove soiled with acid. The quick application of the Diphoterine® solution aerosol on the area avoided sequelae.
Prevor: Your job entails constantly reminding people of the correct procedure to follow in the event of an accident. Is the message heard?
M.D. : The message gets across: we have a video showing the effectiveness of Diphoterine® against a quantity of active products. We see that it takes a huge amount of water to reduce the pH. With Diphoterine® solution, there is less volume to apply to control a very high or low pH. As I said earlier, the employee needs to be psychologically reassured, and Diphoterine® solution contributes to that effect. However, the message needs to be stronger: the entire aerosol needs to be applied; just because it’s stopped stinging doesn’t mean that the chemical isn’t active anymore.