Workplace Chemical Exposure Is a Serious Challenge for Companies

chemical exposure

Workplace chemical exposure has been a common health hazard for years. In fact, according to a 2015 news release by the Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), it is one of the top causes of fatalities in the United States.

Chemical exposure leads to over 40,000 premature deaths every year, says PEER. The group works with the Occupational Safety and Health Organization (OSHA) to address this and to improve workplace safety in facilities that handle chemicals. The responsibility does not just fall on them, though. Employers should also play an active role in improving workplace safety.

Be Informed About the Chemicals in Your Facilities

PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruch says that occupational exposure is a more common cause of death than on-the-job accidents. It is a silent epidemic that leads to various chronic conditions such as cancer, cardiopulmonary disease, and neurological breakdown.

Nevertheless, chemical products are not automatically bad for the health. They only become a hazard when not handled properly. For this reason, educate yourself and your employees about the potential effects of chemical products. This way, your entire organization will be more vigilant and will more actively reduce the risk of hazards.

Before anything else, it is important to know all possible physical states of the chemicals in the facilities:

  • Solids: chemicals with a definitive form
  • Liquids: formless fluids such as oils and solvents
  • Gases: invisible, formless substance that may be detectable by smell or taste

Once you have classified the physical states of the chemicals in your facilities, you will have a better idea on how to handle them safely. You will be more prepared to handle different types of chemical hazards such as acids, heavy metals, petroleum products, and even something as simple as pesticides.

Specifically, you will know what type of protective equipment to invest in for worker safety. Keep in mind that your workers need to put on different types of gear depending on what chemicals they are handling:

  • Solids that they might accidentally touch
  • Liquids that the skin absorbs
  • Gases that they may inhale

Also, note that you must not be complacent about securing the right equipment.

Go Over the Ways You Can Improve Workplace Safety

Workplace safety is not a do-it-yourself campaign. Organizations such as PEER and OSHA provide resources that keep you updated on chemical hazards and how to handle them; many companies provide equipment for proper handling of chemical products, as well.

Nevertheless, you need to go over these resources and comply with the guidelines for occupational safety in facilities that handle chemical products. This lets you know that your facilities practice safe operations and that your workers are better protected from chemical hazards.

Tackle Workplace Safety Hazards with a Reliable Team

Workplace safety is relevant to all companies, especially facilities that handle chemical products. Every time someone sets foot in your facilities, you may be liable for injuries they may incur due to chemical exposure. So, prioritize workplace safety and find out how you can effectively reduce related hazards.

Contact us, today, for business consulting services that effectively address workplace safety hazards: