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Health and safety at work concerning dangerous substances

It is the duty of any business to make sure that their workers are not made ill by coming into contact with hazardous substances. For smaller businesses or self-employed workers you need to make sure you have adequate information to hand on how you can do this. For larger businesses that have many employees and where the control of hazardous substances can be more difficult, you need to seek professional advice.

Taking the right measures to control the exposure your employees have to hazardous substances may not only benefit the employees, it may also benefit you. Wastage of liquids or materials due to spills or leaks can cost businesses thousands of pounds every year, and having a cleaner site will improve moral and can also improve production and cleaning costs.

Some liquid substances you keep on site may be flammable or cause damage to your employees just by them coming into contact with the substance. For instance the Benzene found in crude oil, in high levels, can cause leukaemia.

All employers must therefore look at the substances that they have on site that may be harmful to an employees health and put into effect exposure control methods and control equipment so the risk is minimised. This might be emergency spill kits or bunded storage tanks or drums, whatever the risk is, it must be assessed and control measures put into place.

Previous article Understanding Requirements for Hazardous Substances: Prevention, Storage, and Clean Up

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