The handling of unsafe chemicals can have a big impact on workers – the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates that 50,000 deaths and over 190,000 illnesses each year are the result of exposure to unsafe chemicals. To prevent the hazards of chemical exposure in the workplace and improve employee performance, OSHA developed a set of guidelines beyond the organization’s basic safety requirements. Check out OSHA’s seven steps to safer chemicals in your facility:
Put together a team of workers to focus on developing new safety standards for chemicals in your facility. The main tasks at hand will be to brainstorm and enact ideas, as well as create and monitor safety goals.
- Inventory and Prioritize
Have your team take an in-depth look at all of the current chemicals being used in your facility to figure out which chemicals may be dangerous and in need of replacement. Once you have all of the chemicals inventoried, rank them in terms of hazard levels in order to prioritize which ones need to be addressed first.
- Identify Alternatives
Research the options for other chemicals that could be used in place of the most potentially dangerous chemicals that are currently being used. Your team can also brainstorm changes in processes that could alleviate the use of chemicals.
- Assess and Compare
Gather all of your research on alternatives and then determine the projected hazard level reduction, as well as the cost of the new measure, and its expected performance. Assessing and comparing your various alternatives will ensure your safety measures don’t counteract your facility’s needs or budget.
Make the final decision on what new chemical alternatives your facility will use. Keep records of advantages, disadvantages, and potential trade-offs of each option and have your decision-making team review all research in order to select the best option.
Choose a few processes to use your selected chemical alternative. OSHA recommends piloting your new chemical safety measures in a small trial run, rather than launching it on a full scale throughout your facility. This is to prevent any long-term impacts in the event of any unforeseen disruptions or failures.
Make any necessary changes to the chemical alternative after your pilot run and prepare a step-by-step plan to implement the chemical alternative facility-wide. This includes details such as training workers on using the new chemical, as well as any changes in current processes, and putting together methods of regularly reviewing the alternative and receiving feedback.
An understaffed facility can make implementing these types of safety regulations more challenging if you’re constantly under time constraints. Grow your team with the strategic staffing skills of PrideStaff to find the right manufacturing candidates in Akron for your workplace needs. Contact PrideStaff Akron today to learn more about our client services.