Managing chemical hazards
Chemicals are an essential part of the swimming pool and spa industry. If they are not managed effectively, chemicals can impact on the health and safety of workers, the public and the environment.
Businesses are required to minimise risks to health and safety by applying the hierarchy of controls.This is a ranking of control measures used to protect workers from risks to health and safety. Controls need to be chosen based on this ranking, and whether they are practical for the job or task. In practice, using a combination of controls often brings the best results.
Businesses also need to manage any hazardous products and by-products of their processes, so workers must be provided with appropriate training in:
- the risks of the chemicals they are using;
- how these risks are managed; and
- how to use controls.
Under WHS laws, workplaces handling or using hazardous chemicals must manage health and safety risks by using the hierarchy of controls. The below video from the Safe Work Australia Virtual Seminar Series demonstrates what to consider when applying the hierarchy and how to go about choosing the appropriate controls.
Employers and businesses should review their chemical management strategies and use controls higher in the hierarchy in combination with lower level controls for the greatest effect.
Employers should also ensure that workers receive training and supervision and consider the risks associated throughout the life of the chemical; for example, during storage, handling and disposal.
For more information on the hierarchy of controls and managing risks to health and safety, watch the video above and read the Safe Work Australia Model Code of Practice, available here.
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