Hazardous Chemicals in the Workplace: 3 Risk Control Considerations
Many workplaces these days have some type of dealings with hazardous chemicals. In some instances, the business is focused around a hazardous chemical, such as traditional chemical companies, but in other cases, hazardous chemicals may be an afterthought, such as a traditional office that utilizes copier toner.
In any event, chemicals in the workplace can be a major concern, and as a business owner, it’s up to you to ensure that your company, its employees, and its customers are protected against the possibility of injury, illness, or other harm related to your use of hazardous chemicals.
1. Training is the Key
One of the most important elements in providing the aforementioned protection is training. Each employee needs to undergo proper and thorough risk control training for hazards in the workplace, including chemicals. For new hires, this training is even more invaluable. When planning such training, it would be a good idea to contract with a risk control expert who can evaluate the chemicals your company uses prior to training.
Training should also be a routine part of each employee’s workplace experience annually or even more often. Additionally, each employee who undergoes safety and risk control training should be made to sign a document that clearly states that the employee understands the training and agrees to follow protocol.
2. How Are Hazardous Chemicals Stored?
Another factor in preventing injuries due to hazardous chemicals is proper storage. Too often, business owners who lack knowledge in chemical reactions allow such products to be left in environments that are too hot, too cold, not secure, or that allow for exposure to employees and customers. When such situations exist, serious repercussions can follow.
A risk control professional who understands the way that different chemicals respond to environmental changes can help to rectify this. The bottom line? If you’re unsure about a specific chemical’s ability to affect people, talk with an expert.
3. Availability of Safety Equipment
Finally, you’ll need to provide adequate safety equipment to employees who work in areas where potentially hazardous chemicals are stored or used. This is a safety issue, but it is also a legal issue. In many cases, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) requires business owners to provide this equipment, and failing to do so may not only result in a fine and fees, but it can also result in a lawsuit that shuts your business down entirely.
Contact Poms & Associates to Learn More About Risk Control
Even if you don’t think of your business as one that utilizes potentially hazardous chemicals, it probably does. This is why it’s important to discuss your needs with a risk control expert at Poms & Associates. By reaching out, you can reduce risk, increase employee and customer confidence, and ensure that your company will remain protected in the event that something goes wrong. To learn more, use our convenient contact form to speak with an experienced risk control professional.
Andrew Rusnak is an author who writes on topics that include risk control and hazardous chemical maintenance.