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How can you find out what substances on your site are dangerous?

In the last article we mentioned how important it is for employers to look after their employees by controlling hazardous substances and making their employees aware about the dangers of coming into contact with these substances.

Dangerous substances come in many different forms such clouds of dust from wood or paper deposits, vapour from solvent based products or chemicals. As an employer it is your duty to find out what dangerous products you may have on site, so you can take the necessary action.

So how can you find out what substances are dangerous?

• Check the information leaflet or manufacturers stamp on the product. The safety data sheet that should be supplied with dangerous products should contain this information.

• Ask your supplier or sales rep to supply you with the relevant data when you buy a product.

• Visit the HSE’s website for information about the product.

It is only when you have the data to hand that you can work out the potential risks to your employees and do risk assessments to minimise the exposure risk. That way you can put procedures in place to cope with potential damaging situations like spills and exposure of dangerous substances to employees.

In the next article we will discuss the different ways in which workers might be exposed.

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

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