Even though they are common in many worksites and facilities, chemicals of all kinds can be hazardous to our health if they’re not handled correctly. Safe chemical handling affects more than just industrial manufacturers. If your job site uses cleaning sprays or pesticides, proper handling of these and other materials can be the difference between safety and disaster. On “Safe Chemical Handling,” the latest episode of Lancaster Safety: The Workplace Safety Podcast, available Monday, Oct. 26, host Sarge and Director of Industrial Safety & Compliance at Justrite Safety Group, Andy Brousseau, will dive into what steps can be taken to prevent your employees from being exposed to hazardous chemicals. Both will also cover what you would need to know if there were a hazardous chemical emergency on your worksite. Here’s some of what the podcast will cover.
Regulating of Hazardous MaterialsIn the U.S., both federal and state governments regulate chemicals and other hazardous materials. On the environmental side, the Environmental Protection Agency (or EPA) regulates hazardous materials and hazardous wastes to protect the environment. States also have their own environmental agencies that go by many different names. The Department of Transportation (DOT) regulates how hazardous materials are transported across the U.S., whether by road, rail, air, or water. In workplaces, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulates the use and storage of hazardous materials with the aim of protecting the safety and health of you, your coworkers, and workers across America.
The OSHA Hazard Communication StandardWhen it comes to chemical safety in the workplace, one of the many ways OSHA ensures worker safety is with OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard. This federal regulation covers responsibilities employers have to workers’ safety around chemicals. The OSHA Hazard Communication Standard also says that workers have the right to know about:
- Which chemicals are used in your workplace
- Why these chemicals can be hazardous
- How to handle chemicals safely to protect yourself from hazards