Occupational exposure to hazardous substances is a serious and significant area for concern. It has been estimated that the number of deaths associated with occupational hazardous substance exposure, for last year, to be just under 2,300.
The overall impact of occupational hazardous substances is hard to measure, due to those substances that do not directly affect the health of the worker but that of a third party, such as an unborn child. Therefore, the severity of hazard substance exposure is unrecognised.
Hazardous substances include substances that are harmful to a human being’s health and wellbeing. Substances that are hazardous to humans are as follows: corrosive, irritant, sensitizers, carcinogenic, mutagenic, teratogenic or otherwise reprotoxic. It does not include dangerous goods, radioactive or infectious substances.
To ensure that all staff are safe if they are dealing with hazardous substances, organisations should ensure that they have the correct protective resources and materials. Employees should also undergo regular health checks, to make sure that their contact with the hazardous substance isn’t affecting their health. If you have any questions about your employees and/or business in relation to hazardous substances – please contact our Risk Specialists, to ensure that you are taking all required precautions to minimise risk.