According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, workers throughout the country use chemicals every day of the week. While many of these are dangerous, only some are regulated.
As a result of this use, workers suffer nearly 200,000 illnesses annually. Just as alarming is the fact that chemical exposure is associated with 50,000 workplace deaths.
Some companies have come to realize the importance of a chemical management system. Others, however, continue to put this off for one reason or another.
Companies can take many steps to reduce the impact of safer chemicals. Above all else, the reduction or elimination of chemical hazards should be considered. This is the best way to protect workers at all times.
In addition to improving the well being and safety of workers, there are many other benefits of a chemical management system. These include:
— Cost savings through the reduction of expenses and health risks.
— Improved performance.
— Industry leadership.
Transitioning to safer chemicals is not something that comes easy. Instead, it is a process that can take time and money. Despite the legwork up front, companies that make the change will benefit in many ways down the line.
Even with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration closely monitoring the use of dangerous chemicals, accidents continue to happen in many companies throughout the country. Additionally, an accident doesn’t have to occur for somebody to become ill. Simple chemical exposure is often enough.
As an employee, you need to understand the dangers of working around chemicals. If you become ill as a result, it is important to receive medical treatment and to avoid the same situation in the future.
Source: Occupational Safety and Health Administration, “Transitioning to Safer Chemicals: A Toolkit for Employers and Workers,” accessed Nov. 10, 2015