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The only way to prevent health and safety accidents if you store chemicals in your workplace...

by , 03 April 2013
Flight attendants put their health at risk each time they take to the skies. That's because high levels of flame retardant have just been found on 19 commercial airliners. One of the chemicals was measured at concentrations more than 100 times higher in the airplane dust than in dust collected from homes and offices. That's why the Environmental Protection Agency is now conducting risk assessments on flame retardants. Under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, you're legally obliged to follow suit!

Deca, the most prevalent flame retardant on airplanes, is difficult to detect in the human body.
 
But it's believed to be the reason why flight attendants are more likely to have cancer and miscarriages than the general public, says Environmental Health News.
 
That's why the Environmental Protection Agency has announced plans to begin full risk assessments on seven chemicals in 2013, including four flame retardants.
 
They're hoping to better understand how some flame retardants transform and move in the environment, says Bloomberg BNA
 
Have you identified the health risks of chemical exposure in your workplace?
 
If you store chemicals like flame retardants in your workplace, you could be putting your employees' health at similar risk.
 
But under the Hazardous Chemical Substance Regulation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, you must assess the workplace to identify potential exposure to chemical substances, says FSP Business
 
The regulations under this section detail the requirements for exposure levels, medical surveillance and education of employees exposed to chemical substances in the workplace.
 
Conduct a risk assessment based on all chemicals in your workplace today!
 
One of the best ways to make sure your employees are properly educated with regard to the harmful effects of chemicals in the workplace is to conduct a full risk assessment.
 
But remember that it's not just flame retardant chemicals that pose a risk – 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 paint, fuel, chlorine and welding fumes.
 
How will you know what PPE to issue your employees if you don't know the specific health and safety risks they face in the workplace?
 
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.
 
You'll also be able to better educate your employees on the potential health risks and ensure they have the correct personal protective equipment or PPE to wear and know the correct procedures to follow if they are exposed to the chemical.
 
Conduct a risk assessment on chemicals in your workplace today! It's the only way to protect your employees' health and make sure you're meeting your legal health and safety responsibilities.

Turn to chapter R01 of your Health and Safety Advisor to read more about the different risk assessment modules you can use in your business today.  
 


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