Workplace safety is a responsibility of all employers because accidents can cause more than injuries. They can lower employee morale, risk the reputation, and cause lawsuits. The risk gets bigger if you store and handle hazardous materials on your premises. These materials can harm people, property, and the environment if not managed properly. The bigger challenge is that even the seemingly harmless materials like paints and glues entail potential hazards. Likewise, heavy metals, flammable liquids, and pesticides are the better-known ones. If such materials are on your property, you must take proactive measures to manage them and ensure employee safety. Here are some tips to cover both fronts.
Trace the hazards
Tracing the hazards is the first thing you need to do to manage them effectively. The best way to do it is by creating a hazardous materials inventory list. It should include the product names and details of the manufacturer and their contact information. Also, ensure that the list is frequently updated because an annual review is not enough. Tracing hazards takes some effort, but it helps you address them better and stay compliant with the occupational guidelines.
Have proper storage arrangements
After identifying the hazardous materials, you must ensure proper storage for them. After all, you cannot expect to leave such items in the open. Check the storage instructions with the manufacturers in the first place. The storage locations should be ventilated and locked when not in use. Storage cabinets should be non-corrosive to prevent potential leaks and damage. Improper storage is often the most common reason for hazmat mishaps, so ensure safety with apt arrangements.
Limit access to hazardous materials
Employers should not allow everyone to access hazardous materials because of evident reasons. Only employees who require to use them to complete job duties should be permitted in the storage areas. Experts at MIRA Safety emphasize the importance of providing personal protection equipment to ensure safety while in contact. Moreover, essentials like gas masks and hazmat suits can be saviors if a leak or spill occurs on-premises.
Train your employees
Besides limiting access to hazmat storage, you must train employees permitted to use them. They are likely to be far more careful when they know how to handle these toxic and dangerous materials. Moreover, training can prevent mishaps and make people more comfortable and confident despite the perils involved in their job roles. It is a small price to save lives and cultivate a positive work culture.
Prioritize good communication
Employee safety should always come first for business leaders. It matters more than goals, profits, and reputation. You can keep your employees safe by prioritizing good communication within the organization. Start a comprehensive hazmat safety program that includes elements like material safety data sheets, signage, and container labeling. The program keeps everyone on the same page and drives confidence and safety.
Hazardous materials are risky for employees, no matter how cautious they are. Going the extra mile with safety is an employer’s responsibility. Follow these steps to address hazards and prevent accidents at your workplace.