Every single type of workplace has chemicals in it. You don’t need to be working in a place where the threat of chemicals is obvious to worry about their risks. Do you have any glass cleaner on site? What about other cleaning products? Chances are you answered yes, which means even if you’re not in the business of producing chemicals, you’ve still got the potential for injury on your hands.
Chemicals need to be used, stored, and handled properly. If they aren’t, they can lead to a whole mess of unpleasant results – think injury, illness, burns, disease, property damage, fire, and even massive explosions. It’s critical to know the hazards of every single chemical you’ve got on site (even if it’s “only Windex!”) and the right precautions you need to take to work with them safely and avoid disaster.
Are your workers able to identify hazardous chemicals, or the categories they belong to? Do they recognize the conditions that could present an exposure risk and how to react to it? Are they demonstrating safe transport, storage, and disposal practices for hazardous chemicals? These are just some of the questions you should be asking yourself when developing a hazardous chemical response plan and training program.
At the very minimum, anyone on your team handling chemicals should know what PPE they need to protect themselves during handling, and should also be able to:
- Recognize hazardous chemicals and their characteristics
- Factors that can affect risk
- Identify hazards
- Handle chemicals safety
- Take steps to “detect and protect”
- Act appropriately when an accident occurs
If you’re not absolutely positive your employees can handle all of the above, I’d suggest you check out our chemical safety online course. If they’re handling complex, industrial chemicals daily, they’re at even higher risk. Employers and employees both have a duty to work in compliance with the laws and regulations outlined in their respective provinces. It’s up to every single member of your organisation to ensure that everyone works together to address the specific chemical handling hazards in your workplace: employers, supervisors, workers, Joint Health and Safety Committees (JHSCs) and health and safety representatives.
Want to make sure your employees are up-to-date on their chemical handling safety? Remember – if you’re an employer, it’s up to you to make sure your supervisors and workers are completing their mandatory health and safety training. Sign up for free chemical glove webinar, or contact us for more help.