An EU wide campaign for all member states created by the European Safety Agency in relation to chemical and hazardous materials management has been widely welcomed by member states.
Of note, The HSE have been strong advocates which is welcoming news, reinforcing the importance for companies from all industries handling Chemicals, Dangerous & Hazardous Materials.
“The HSE are delighted to support the European Safety Agency’s campaign and have taken this opportunity to review chemical safety to provide helpful information and tools for all our colleagues to better manage hazardous chemicals in the workplace.” HSE website
The most important message we can draw from this is that all Safety Managers should be aware of their requirements when it comes to hazardous chemical compliance management in their workplace.
Workers are exposed to dangerous substances in many European workplaces. Such exposures are more common than most people realise and, in fact, may occur in almost all workplaces. This presents major safety and health concerns.
A step by step process has been published by the HSE which details your requirements for chemical management in stages.
A common issue for the workplace is awareness of exactly what chemicals are used and stored in their workplace. It is imperative that a detailed chemical inventory is carried out for chemical management. By knowing what is on-site is the first step and can work as a useful exercise to carry out the long finger task of clearing out the “shelf in the corner” or “locked old storeroom”. It can serve as a housekeeping exercise to reduce over-ordering of materials which is another common issue with Chemicals we discover on site.
There is no greater risk than expired chemicals sitting in storage, It is a catastrophe sitting in wait!
Reading container labels is a start;
When purchasing chemicals, it is a legal requirement that all manufacturers issue a Safety Data Sheet for your consultation. You need to have all SDS sheets on file or you can’t possibly know all the risks that exist! It is also a legal requirement that you have these to hand in the event of an accident or emergency.
Another quick note is if there are any hazardous chemical containers on your site with the older CHIP hazard labels, it would suggest this chemical is now at least three years old and you need to consider safe disposal if the expiry dates are approaching. This is an essential element of correct chemical management.
As a manager, have you assessed your staff’s exposure to chemicals?
You are required to fully review all chemicals running a Chemical Agent Risk Assessment fully considering the following factors:
Once you have assessed the risk associated with the use of chemicals, you are required to identify the control measures necessary to reduce the risks to a reasonable level, another essential for proper chemical management
Ensure you have considered the following the “STOP” principle according to the EU’s Chemical Agents Directive (CAD).
Do you have a Chemical Management System in place currently that you feel addresses your requirements as a manager above? Ask yourself the following questions:
If you are unsure or would like to arrange a free no obligations site compliance assessment with a trained professional, please contact Chemstore by clicking here or by using the LiveChat in the bottom left of your browser.