For employers and their workforce, chemical safety is paramount. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates that American workers handle thousands of chemical products daily. Ensuring that a stringent safety protocol is in place is each company’s responsibility so that workers have the needed safety and understanding of the products they use while on the job. Failure to do so can result in devastating injuries or illnesses to employees and create substantial financial penalties for the business.
A strong safety plan is multifaceted and covers awareness and training, transparent product information available to staff, and regular verification that safety procedures are followed. Risk assessment involves ensuring that only trained staff work with the chemicals and that, in case of an accident, a specific emergency procedure is in place.
OSHA’s mission is to ensure safe working conditions and setting and enforcing workplace standards. OSHA also provides resources and training materials that employers should take advantage of when developing a safety plan and complying with regulatory requirements. For chemicals and toxic substances that cause a variety of safety hazards, OSHA has a Hazard Communication Standard that employers must follow.
Chemical Management Program
A chemical management program contains several elements that help employers and employees work in a safe environment. The most effective safety plans include employee engagement. Employees who work with hazardous substances should be involved in the safety plans, as well as management. Input should be expected, and communication of concerns should be encouraged without fear of reprisal. Employers should also recognize that not only full-time employees, but all staff, contractors, and other vendors should have access to safety information.
Being informed is a key step in safety planning, yet serious accidents still happen in workplaces frequently. For employees who have been injured in a workplace accident by poor management of chemical hazards, it is best to consult an experienced Workers’ Compensation lawyer to determine your rights and course of action.
Information is Key
Thorough and complete information is another critical element in workplace chemical management. Signage, material safety data sheets, and emergency stations should be visible and accessible for all hazardous chemicals in inventory. Regular reviews can identify where problems occur. Hazard communication standards from OSHA and other regulatory agencies cover issues ranging from allowable airborne concentrations to appropriate measures, such as personal protective equipment.
Being proactive in chemical management is an element that cannot be overstated. Employee engagement, thorough communication and training, and prevention are all part of a safety protocol. Technological innovations are available to employers to better manage a workplace that may contain hundreds of chemical substances. Investing in a systemic management program that tracks training, updates chemical information for new products, and monitors compliance is worth the initial cost to prevent serious problems in the future.
Cherry Hill Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at DiTomaso Law Advocate for Injured Workers
If you were injured on the job, the Cherry Hill Workers’ Compensation lawyers at DiTomaso Law have solid experience representing injured workers and obtaining the compensation and care you deserve for your injury. Contact us for a free consultation to discuss your case by using our online form or call us at 856-414-0010. With offices in Cherry Hill, New Jersey and Philadelphia, we represent clients throughout southeastern Pennsylvania and South Jersey, including Mt. Holly and Camden County.