Employees whose job entails the use of cleaning solvents may not consider themselves at risk for hazardous chemical exposure, but certain products pose significant harm. Almost every employee uses cleaning solvents to some degree, even if it just entails cleaning their personal workstation.
Much depends on whether these products are considered for consumer-use. If they are products used by the general public, Hazard Communications (HazCom) training is not required under federal law. However, if the products are industrial strength, or the exposure of the chemicals in the cleaning solvent is much greater than an ordinary member of the public would experience with standard use, HazCom training is necessary.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), chemical manufacturers and importers must evaluate hazards of all chemicals produced or imported. These manufacturers must prepare labels and safety data sheets so that all customers are aware of the products’ possible hazards.
Employers using hazardous chemicals in the workplaces are required to provide safety data sheets and labels for any exposed workers. HazCom training involves teaching workers to handle and use these chemicals safely and correctly. Workers must learn how to recognize the signs of chemical exposure, even when it involves something as seemingly innocuous as cleaning solvents. In fact, because the danger of these products is less likely recognized, it is especially critical that employees are aware of the risks. As per OSHA, training is needed for any employee with exposure to the cleaning solvents under normal condition of use or in a foreseeable emergency.
Cleaning Solvent Dangers
The HazCom training includes teaching employees about the common dangers involved in using and handling cleaning solvents. For example, workers are informed that mixing ordinary cleaning products, such as bleach and ammonia, can lead to serious lung issues and may even prove fatal. Reactions to cleaning solvent exposure may include:
- Breathing problems
- Asthma triggers
- Itchy or irritated skin
- Eye irritation
While most workers experiencing such reactions work in the janitorial field, any employee is at risk when cleaning solvents are used in their workplace.
HazCom training also requires updates of the safety data sheets as new versions are released. Employers are responsible for ensuring all containers in the workplace comply with HazCom labeling and other requirements.
Cherry Hill Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at DiTomaso Law Fight for Workers Injured by Chemical Exposure
If you or a loved one was injured on the job due to chemical exposure, you need the services of the experienced Cherry Hill Workers’ Compensation lawyers at DiTomaso Law. To arrange a free consultation, fill out an online form or call us today at 856-414-0010. Located in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout South Jersey, including Mt. Holly and Camden County.