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Use eco-friendly products to protect the environment and meet your OHSA obligations!

by , 12 March 2013
Today marks the two-year anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan, says the TimesLive website. What better time to conduct a risk assessment - is your business harming the environment by not using eco-friendly products?

The devastating earthquake experienced in Japan two years ago measured 9.0 on the Richter scale, says the TimesLive website. 
While we haven't experienced any major earthquakes of this magnitude in South Africa yet, we could do soon.
Because the South African mining industry has faced the life-threatening risk of mining-induced earthquakes for years, says MiningWeekly.
But it's not just mining that affects the environment.
Your business could be damaging the environment in a number of ways.
You'll need to assess this right away in order to meet your Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) obligations.
Because it's your responsibility to care for the environment and minimise harm as a health, safety and environment (HSE) officer, says the Health and Safety Bulletin.
The easiest way to do this is with a continuous risk assessment.
Use continuous risk assessments to check if your business is harming the environment
One way of ensuring your company identifies any hazards and assesses risks to the environment is to do a complete and proper risk assessment of your workplace, says the Health and Safety Bulletin.
By identifying the risks, you'll be able to take preventative and precautionary measures to minimise or prevent any health and safety hazards that could to the environment. 
A continuous risk assessment is the best way to identify any new hazards in the workplace that could affect the environment.
This is an informal risk assessment that's performed on an ongoing basis, says FSP Business.
Here's why you should use eco-friendly products to meet your OHSA obligations!
With continuous risk assessment you'll know the impact of any actions in your business that have the potential to harm the environment. 
For example, if your business is using a new brand of chemical cleaning agent, you should assess the impact on the environment before you even purchase it, suggests the University of Melbourne.
Read through its list of ingredients to see if it contains chemicals like chlorine, ammonia, bleach or hydrochloric acid.
Then consider if these would be toxic if they found their way into your drains… which means they'll eventually make their way into our water supply. 
If so, look at a different, more eco-friendly product.
It's easy, as many companies advertise their eco-friendly products on the internet.
You'll be doing your bit to protect the environment and meeting your OHSA obligations in one smart move!

Turn to chapter  W08 of your Health and Safety Advisor to learn how you can implement a recycling programme in your business and protect the environment today

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