Corrosives are widely used in everything from water treatment to equipment cleaning. Consequently, we've all been taught what to do if we get splashed with one. Rinse it off right away. But what if you swallow a corrosive?

You may think that if you practice the rule of not eating or drinking in the work area, you've eliminated this other ingestion hazard. But think about your first reflex when sprayed in the face. There's a good chance you're going to inhale some of the chemicals.

Regardless of anyone else's best intentions, don't lie down if this happens. What you must do now is get prompt medical attention. Don't delay by finding your supervisor; ask a coworker to do that. Tell your coworker that someone needs to call ahead to provide your name and what you swallowed and that you're on your way there.