Hazardous Substance Risk Assessment and Safety Management
Healthy Environments conduct occupational health and safety inspections in workplaces to identify general and specific hazards associated with the use and storage of hazardous chemicals that pose a risk to employees and others in the workplace. Our experience in hazardous chemicals and substances in various workplace settings provides the client with a valuable OSH inspection report and risk register itemising all identified hazards, risks and control measures required together with an action plan.
• Baseline Hazardous Substances Surveys;
• Risk Management (Handling and Storage)
• Controls (Personal protective equipment, signage, labelling with MSDS backup, and awareness training)
• Identification of Unknown Substances (Hazard Response Management).
Hazardous Substances Overview
Chemicals can harm health in several different ways. This can occur through their poisonous, toxic, or corrosive properties (as burning the skin or other tissue); through their acting as an irritant (of the skin or respiratory tract); through their acting as a sensitiser (leading to long-term skin, lung or allergic complaints); or through explosiveness or flammability. These health damaging mechanisms may operate independently or in various combinations.
Apart from chemicals, there are other hazardous substances including minerals (silica, lead and mercury); mineral fibres notably asbestos but also man-made mineral fibres; coal dusts; oil and petroleum composites; wood dusts; organic and inorganic dusts, and infectious agents.
Complete segregation of the workers from chemicals and other hazardous substances is difficult to achieve. Therefore some exposure via the respiratory tract, skin and gastrointestinal tract is likely to occur. A prime objective of health and safety management is to control exposures to levels at which the risk of adverse effects on health is acceptability low. For control of exposure to hazardous chemicals and other substances there is a clear hierarchy of control measures
• Elimination of hazardous chemicals and other substances from the workplace;
• Substitution of hazardous chemicals and other substances with less hazardous alternatives;
• Engineering controls to contain or minimise exposure to hazardous chemical and other substances or processes;
• Adoption of safe work procedures; and the use of personal protective equipment as an interim or emergency measure