Every company has them. They come in various forms. They are avoidable and completely preventable. The answer to this riddle? You guessed it – workplace hazards.
While companies strive to be the best they can, workplace hazards will always present a challenge. From the biological hazards of virus and disease for healthcare workers to the ergonomic risks to musculoskeletal health in the office, employees are exposed to health risks. And it is essential that employers identify and mitigate these risks to the health and safety of their employees.
Chemical hazards in the workplace exist in substances that have the potential to cause physical and physiological harm to the health of employees. For example, traditional solvents contain highly toxic chemicals such as Benzene, Acetone and Trichloroethylene, each of which has a specific physicochemical property that can result in a flammable, corrosive or oxidising reaction.
Toxicity occurs through various routes, including direct skin contact, inhalation of toxic vapours or ingestion, with inhalation being the most common form of exposure. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has identified chemical workplace hazards as carcinogens and respiratory sensitisers, causing severe skin, eye and throat irritation when vapour is inhaled. Reports have also identified long term exposure is responsible for certain cancers, chronic dermatologic disease, and nerve damage.
As an employer, it is vital to understand the implications of using toxic chemicals in the workplace and to implement tailored prevention methods, with effective procedures to minimise or eliminate risks. Once identified, hazards must be isolated by implementing the use of protective gear, providing adequate ventilation, implementing ATEX zoning requirements and providing appropriate training for employees, together with plans to deal with exposure if and when it occurs.
However, there is another way. Instead of accepting the use of toxic chemicals in the workplace, with employee safety in mind, chemical hazards can be eliminated with the use of strategically manufactured products which virtually eliminate these risks. Solvents that are hydrocarbon-free and water-based, are non-flammable and give off zero toxic vapour, without any reduction in performance.
We believe this is the future and its why we called our company Safe Solvents. Safer, Cleaner, Greener!