Does your workplace contain a lot of hazardous chemicals? If so, then you need to consider the safety and security of your workers. You will also need to ensure you are abiding by industry law and regulations.
There are always risks involved in a workplace that handles hazardous chemicals. Managing these risks properly will reduce the potential of employee injury and property damage in the event of a spill.
Hazardous chemicals can pose a threat to the environment too. If you do not consider the safety of the animals and vegetation in your natural surroundings, then your organisation’s actions may contribute to threatening the ecological habitat of wildlife in your area.
Therefore, you must make a plan to reduce the risks associated with the hazardous chemicals in your workplace.
Below are the top 6 ways of managing the risks of workplace hazardous chemicals.
Eliminate All Unnecessary Hazards
Do you have any hazardous chemicals in the workplace that are unnecessary or unneeded? If so, then consider removing these dangerous chemicals from the workplace immediately.
If these chemicals serve an essential purpose, then consider replacing them with alternative chemicals that are less hazardous.
For instance, asbestos is a hazardous substance that can be replaced with polyurethane foam or cellulose fibre.
Spill Response Training
Hazardous chemical spills may happen at any time. For this reason, you should have your workers undergo spill response training. It will provide them with comprehensive training and skills on how to prevent and contain chemical spills.
Not only is this training for protecting the environment, but it will also reduce the chances of your organisation getting fined by the local government.
There are some pretty hefty fines imposed on companies that spill chemicals and fail to control it.
Safety training is essential when you have a workplace with hazardous chemicals in it. All employees handling these dangerous chemicals must be adequately trained and meet the industry requirements in terms of how much training they need.
Be up to date with any new safety practices that are recommended by public officials and local government agencies. Ensure that only trained employees are the ones handling the chemicals.
Do not cut corners and think “she’ll be right mate”. Training is essential for all staff handling chemicals.
It is always a good idea to post up safety signs throughout your workplace. Safety signs can serve as a reminder to your employees about the potential hazards surrounding certain chemicals or environments in the organisation.
Sometimes you may have guests or outsiders in your workplace as well. As these guests are not experienced in dealing with hazardous chemicals, safety signs can help them learn how to behave in certain areas of the workplace without having had proper training.
Have designated safe areas and safety measures in place that prevent unauthorised access to areas where the chemicals are.
Periodic Hazard Assessments
Upper management should conduct hazard assessments in the workplace periodically. These assessments will ensure that no hazards or dangers exist in the workplace.
More importantly, they will ensure that employees are following proper safety procedures and protocol.
Limit Exposure Time
If some employees must be exposed to hazardous chemicals to do their jobs, then limit their exposure time each day.
Also, it is not a good idea to have too many employees working on hazardous tasks. It is better to delegate that responsibility to a few select employees who can be in charge of dangerous jobs for the company.
By doing this, you reduce the potential of your employees experiencing any adverse side effects or symptoms.
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