1. Identify the substances:
Identify all substances that are used when performing any task in the workplace. Identify them by:
• Going through inventory and stock lists;
• Looking at all areas where substances are used or stored;
• Considering what substances may be let off as intermediates;
• Looking into any substances that can be let off by working on certain areas. An example could be asbestos from buildings.
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2. Look into the risk:
To determine if a substance is released into the workplace, look into the following:
• Evidence of splashes and effects of the substance;
• Evidence of contamination;
• Symptoms experienced by employees;
• Hazardous chemical substances in the vicinity; and
• Previous Health Survey and Occupational Hygiene results.
3. Identify which employees may be exposed:
Once you have identified any hazardous chemical substances in the workplace, you must now identify which employees may be affected by them. These could include employees who work directly with the substances or who work in the vicinity of the substances.
After this, you will then need to determine the extent of such exposure, if any has occurred.
So there you have it! There are three tips to keep in mind when identifying and determining the risks of hazardous substances in the workplace.
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