A large chunk of your day, everyday, is likely devoted to employee issues. From interpersonal conflicts to training and more, you’ve got your employees’ wellbeing in mind. So it stands to reason that you do everything that you can to prevent workplace injury. If you’re in an industry that uses hazardous chemicals, keeping those locked up tight is vitally important to this task. But there is more to preventing workplace chemical injury than just locking up chemicals that could potentially cause harm. Read on to learn about the importance of preventing chemical hazards in the workplace.
What Are The Effects of Chemical Exposure?
Exposure to hazardous chemicals can have both short and long term effects. Short term effects include headache, nausea, and skin irritation. Longer term effects can include injury, like skin damage or injury to the nervous system. Some chemical exposure can even cause cancer, organ damage, and death. The duration and degree of exposure are two factors that can effect how dangerous the exposure is, and can the type of chemical.
How Do People Have Chemical Contact?
In order to prevent chemical hazards in the workplace, you have to understand the various ways that people come into contacts, and can potentially be injured, by those chemicals. The major routes are inhalation, absorption, ingestion, and injection. Inhalation means that the chemical is vaporous or gives off vapors, and those can be breathed in causing problems. Absorption refers to the chemical entering the body and bloodstream when it makes skin contact. Ingestion refers to it being eaten or otherwise swallowed. And, finally, injection refers to direct access to the bloodstream through cuts or wounds (not so much intentional injection using a needle).
How Do We Prevent Incidents?
The employers role in preventing incidents is to ensure proper signage, safety training, and risk assessments. Employers also have to maintain access to appropriate PPE and conduct regular inspections. On the Employee side, they need to report any incidents and report any safety hazards to their employers so that the proper clean-up can be done and so that they can be checked by medical professionals. Employees are also responsible for knowing how to use the PPE and for using it correctly, and for following the safety instructions given by employers.
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