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How to Reduce the Risks of Hazardous Substances in the Workplace

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The nature of some businesses is such that dealing with hazardous substances is a normal part of the job. They may be essential, but that doesn’t remove the hazard. As such, it’s important to take steps to reduce the associated risks. So how do you go about accomplishing that as a business leader?

Train Employees Better

One of the first and most important things that you need to do is make sure that each and every employee that might have a need to use or work with hazardous substances knows how to do it properly and safely. This should be a part of the onboarding and training process for every employee. Even if an employee has experience working with hazardous substances, it’s still important to have them complete the training. That way you as the business leader know that each of your employees have received the training you want them to.

Label Everything

One of the things that the training should include is how to read and understand the labels your business uses for hazardous chemicals. Labels provide information about the hazards specific to the substance so the appropriate precautions can be taken. Make sure you label any and all areas and equipment that involve hazardous chemicals. Pipes must have a label if they carry hazardous substances. Vehicles that transport them should also be appropriately labeled.

Make Sure Employees Have (and Use) PPE

It is the responsibility of the business to ensure that each and every employee has access to the PPE necessary to complete their job in a safe manner. While there are a few exceptions, PPE should be provided by the business at no cost to the employee. It’s not enough to just have it though. It needs to be used, and properly too. Because of the potentially serious nature of the consequences of not properly using PPE, it’s important for supervisors and managers to enforce its use. This helps protect your business in the event that an employee becomes injured while using hazardous substances at work.

Any business that works with hazardous substances of any sort needs to take steps to reduce the risks that go along with them. Providing regular, quality training, labeling everything, and making sure that employees both have and use personal protective equipment are just a few of the things that you as a business leader should be doing to keep your employees safe. Remember, it’s part of your responsibility. 

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