Here, we will consider a number of risk control measures provided by WorkCover NSW , before mentioning another option for ensuring workers are appropriately trained, this time in the event that a dangerous chemical spill occurs.
As distinct from the initial recommendations discussed in the first part of this series, some of the risk control measures below may not be applicable to every workplace, however it is advisable to consider each in turn to assess their viability for a given application.
WorkCover suggests that businesses:
- substitute the solvent-based cleaner with a water-based cleaner
- ensure there is enough ventilation to keep the solvent vapours below the Australian Exposure Standard (ES)
- read the SDS to determine what PPE is necessary to prevent absorption, and what engineering controls are appropriate
- train workers on how to use PPE
- for areas that are enclosed or partially enclosed, stand outside the area and use a long-handled mop to clean the confined area; and
- ensure there are no ignition sources when using solvents in an enclosed or partially enclosed area, as there is potential for creating a hazardous atmosphere.
Tennant's patented ec-H20 technology electrically converts water into a superior cleaning solution which the company states:
- cleans better
- saves money
- improves safety; and
- reduces environmental impact compared to traditional cleaning chemicals and methods.
While we did discuss training with regard to safe chemical handling earlier in this series, we neglected to mention spill response training, another important consideration for any workplace that deals with hazardous chemicals.
Ecospill offers a comprehensive range of spill response training courses, including:
- basic spill kit induction
- spill response training course
- short course in spill response management (Nationally Accredited Training); and
- a Certificate IV: Management in Environment and Safety Practices