When higher ranking control measures are unable to reduce exposure to work practices, chemicals or compounds that are capable of producing injury, skin damage and/or disease then numerous employer initiatives must be introduced to the workplace. Employees should have access to first aid care including emergency care kits and facilities and preventative measures including a suitable place of work, hygienic protective equipment, skin care. products and workplace education.
Worker first aid, site-hygiene and skin care standards should be included in work site and plant surveys. Worksite requirements need to focus on amenities such as first aid treatment and kits, first aid training, rest/lunch rooms, toilets, wash rooms, cool potable water supply etc. Skin care control measures also need to focus on protective clothing such as disposable garments, gloves, barrier creams, etc.
First Aid: Workplaces must satisfy legislative requirements for provision of suitable first aid for workers. First aid kit contents must be appropriate to injuries risk assessments in the workplace and there must be employees trained in first aid. After hours provisions are essential.
Signage: Any and all first aid kits, rooms and trained persons need to be identified in the workplace. Emergency evacuation signage is required to list First Aid Trained employees and be pointed out during all inductions. The “simple” first aid Green Cross is a starting point for signage.
Sharps Containers: Only where a large workplace installs a treatment room and employs a first aid professional is a sharps container necessary.
Defibrillators: The installation of a defibrillator in a workplace is not mandatory yet. An employer who installs such is increasing the chance of employee heart attack survival by as much as 40%. Defibrillators do not require any expertise to operate.
Make sure your workplace chemicals including cleaning chemicals have been supplied with Safety Data Sheets (SDS – previously MSDS) and those documents are managed by a responsible person.
No SDS is to be “older” than 5 years. All too often, when a spill or emergency occurs, the SDS is not within reach and confusion causes delays.
Chlorine based chemicals react with all acids to release chlorine gas. Alkalis will cause chronic injuries to eyes and skin. Most hydrocarbons are skin damaging.
If unsure of protection required for the chemicals in your workplace, take your SDS your SafetyQuip Representative. SafetyQuip cannot search and procure SDS information on your behalf. The CAS numbers on the SDS is essential for PPE identification purposes.