Chemicals in the workplace can cause a variety of problems if they are handled incorrectly, from chemical burns, allergic reactions, inhalation and more. The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) recorded “16,207 chemical-related lost-time injuries (LTIs) from exposure to caustic, noxious or allergenic substances, from the years 2005-2014”.Source A lost-time injury is when an incident which occurs in the workplace, causes an employee to take time off due to the injury or injuries sustained from the incident.
The Ministry of Labour conducted a workplace blitz in 2016 with their focus on chemical hazards in the workplace. The blitz’s goals were to:
The results from the blitz were worrisome. The MOL visited 638 workplaces and issued 2,887 work orders, and 47 stop-work orders. Source These numbers are proof that chemical safety in the workplace is not being taken as seriously as it should be; that is an average of 4.53 orders per workplace! There are policies and procedures put in place to ensure you or your employer are providing staff with with the safest work environment possible, though these procedures can be plentiful and overwhelming. If you are worried you may not be compliant in your workplace start by taking a look at the following areas the Ministry focused on during their blitz.
If you feel overwhelmed there are thankfully businesses out there that can help. MySDS Inc can provide safety audits, chemical inventories, safety training and SDS management, so compliance comes easily, and employees stay safe!
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