As of December, New Zealand will see new rules come into force aimed at reducing harm from the use, handling, manufacture and storage of hazardous substances. The Health and Safety at Work (Hazardous Substances) Regulations 2017 will bring an increased focus to safely managing these substances at work.
The new requirements will help ensure persons conducting a business or undertaking eliminate or minimise risk where possible, and that workers know the risks and have the training, supervision and equipment to do their jobs safely. WorkSafe NZ says that while personal protective equipment can help, it will not protect workers from all the risks.
Hazardous substances include common chemicals, such as glues, cleaning solutions, acids and pesticides, and are present in one in three businesses. The main ways workers are exposed to harm from hazardous substances are:
• Breathing in toxic vapours, dusts, mists, gases or fumes
• Absorption through the skin into the blood stream
• Accidentally swallowing or ingesting, including by eating or smoking after contact
To ease this transition, Worksafe NZ has provided information and tools to help you with your hazardous substances management. The Hazardous Substances Toolbox will provide quick guides on a range of subjects including: certified handlers, inventories, class 6 & 8 substances, labelling, safety data sheets, signage, training and risk management.
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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.