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Your everyday office detergents and disinfectants could be Hazardous Chemical Substances

by , 07 June 2013
Hazardous Chemical Substances (HCS) are chemicals present in the workplace that can cause harm to you or the environment.

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.

Any substance that can cause anything from mild itchiness and redness, to full blown dermatitis can be classified as a hazardous chemical substance.

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I know you're obliged to organise periodical training of employees, BUT

Aren't you tired of having to arrange and prepare the sessions, especially since you don't always have a ready-to-use format?

Are you always aware of what you're legally required to include when it comes to training?

Now, you can have tailor-made professional training for all your employees without the exorbitant costs! 

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Train your employees on hazardous chemical substances or face imprisonment!

Exposure to hazardous chemical substances (HCS) can cause harm to you and your employees, and even death in extreme cases.

If you don't comply with the legal requirements of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) when handling or working with hazardous chemical substances (HCS), you could be liable for a fine or imprisonment!

2 ways a substance can become hazardous
A substance becomes hazardous primarily because of two hazards that it creates.
  1. Firstly, it has the potential to cause fires and explosions;
  2. Secondly, if you're exposed to it, the substance could poison you, or cause permanent damage to you.

5 rules you must obey to control exposure

You must:

  1. Limit the amount of a hazardous chemical substances (HCS) used in the workplace;
  2. Limit the number of workers who'll be exposed in the workplace;
  3. Limit the amount of time any worker will be exposed in the workplace;
  4. Use a substitute chemical that's less harmful;
  5. Introduce engineering measures to control the exposure (ventilation, extraction etc.).
5 engineering controls you can implement today to control exposure

You can:
  1. Separate the different processes or activities. This can be done by:
  • enclosing the work area where the chemical is used;
  • changing the way the work is done by using automation; or
  • moving the chemical part of the work to a separate building.
  1. Install extraction ventilation systems to the work area, equipment and tools to control airborne hazardous chemical substances (HCS);
  1. Use of wetting methods – wet the floor and air down with water at intervals while the work is being done;
  1. Having separate workplaces for different work;
  1. Introduce proper work procedures which you must follow whenever you work with chemicals.
Check out the Health and Safety Training Manual module on Hazardous Chemical Substances and find out how to meet all your Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) obligations and prevent harmful exposure to hazardous chemical substances (HCS) or face the penalties.

Until next time,

Stay safe.


Kerusha Narothan
Managing Editor: Health and Safety Training Manual

P.S. Train your employees on hazardous chemical substances (HCS) and comply with your hazardous chemical substances obligations in just nine steps with this training tool.


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