The NSW Government has launched a five-year project to help protect workers against injuries and diseases from dangerous chemicals in the workplace. 10,000 businesses will be visited over the next five years, with a particular focus on eliminating risks associated with crystalline silica and formaldehyde.
Between 2012 and 2015, eight workers died, 6,000 were injured, and 250 were permanently disabled in incidents involving hazardous chemicals in NSW. SafeWork NSW says exposure to these chemicals in the workplace is 100 percent preventable.
Crystalline silica is a very common mineral used to manufacture many types of building products in the construction industry, and has been linked to silicosis and lung cancer. Formaldehyde is mainly used in hospitals, laboratories, funeral homes, foundries, and leather tanneries. It can cause nasal cancers along with serious eye, nose, and throat damage.
Minister for Better Regulation Matt Kean said SafeWork would engage business, industry, and stakeholders to improve safety standards and workplace practices while enhancing hazardous chemical laws.
“We will work closely with other work health and safety regulators to review national standards and ensure they are in line with international best practice. Health monitoring tests will also be reviewed to ensure they are most effective for detecting occupational respiratory diseases.”
“Every worker across this state has the right to a safe and healthy workplace, especially those who work with hazardous chemicals on a daily basis.”
You can learn more about crystalline silica and formaldehyde, along with general information on managing workplace chemicals, here.
All hazardous chemicals that are stored, handled or used at a workplace must be listed on a register, except where they are in transit or consumer products. It’s important to ensure the register is kept up-to-date so that people can easily find information about chemicals stored, handled, or used at the workplace – as well as identifying the risk of any physical or chemical reactions.
Registers should be readily accessible to workers involved in using, handling or storing hazardous chemicals and to anyone else who is likely to be affected by a hazardous chemical at the workplace. They must be updated as new hazardous chemicals are introduced to the workplace or when the use of a particular hazardous chemical is discontinued.
The myosh Chemical Register meets the requirements in terms of the GHS. It is important to ensure that the accompanying SDS which is uploaded, also meets these requirements.
The myosh Chemical Register enables the user to:
• Upload and store SDS
• Record the SDS expiry date and create an action when the SDS should be updated using the link to the myosh Actions Module
• Record the Chemical Classification in terms of CAS No.; UN Number and hazards
• Carry out a Risk Assessment on the Chemicals listed in the register
• Indicate where in the company it is used and the quantities used
• Health surveillance required for persons handling the chemical, PPE to be worn and other safety measures
• Clone the chemical record
• Archiving chemical information
• A Search function rapidly finds information on a specific chemical
For a free trial, visit: myosh.com/modules/chemical-registers/
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View this webinar to learn how software can help make a difference to your work health and safety. Simple processes can help reduce risk, reduce costs and ensure all your workers get home safely.