The European Commission
has proposed to better protect workers from risks linked to exposure to chemicals
at the workplace.
And it's not just the heavy chemicals
you need to watch for - hazardous chemical substances
are any chemicals present in the workplace that can cause harm to you or the environment, says the Health and Safety Bulletin
This includes dust, and other materials such as paint, fuel, and solvents. It also includes any substance from dishwashing liquids, hand soaps to harmful substances such as caustic soda, chlorine and welding fumes.
Do your employees work around hazardous chemical substances?
But any substance that can cause anything from mild itchiness and redness, to full blown dermatitis can be classified as a hazardous chemical substance.
That's why it's a good idea to conduct a risk assessment to limit the amount of a hazardous chemical substances (HCS) used in the workplace as well as the number of workers who'll be exposed.
The Health and Safety Bulletin
says that by failing to complete a risk assessment
, you run the risk of failing to identify the impacts on your employees' health and safety
due to exposure to the chemicals
By identifying the risks of working with chemicals, you'll be able to take preventative and precautionary measures to minimise or prevent any health and safety hazards that could harm to your employees.
And conducting a risk assessment will also put you in the all-clear with your Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) obligations.
Three steps to conduct a risk assessment whenever you use chemicals in your company
You should assess the chemical hazard
at three times – before purchasing a chemical
for the first time, before using it for the first time, and each time the chemical
is going to be used again, suggests the University of Melbourne
This way, you'll know how to store and handle the chemical, how to clean up any spills or leaks, and the right type of personal protective equipment to be used around the chemical.
Conduct a risk assessment of all chemicals in your workplace today!
It's the only way to prepare for any health and safety incidents that may arise from chemicals in the workplace.