If you are facing the issue of dealing with hazardous substances in the workplace, follow the steps outlined here and you will be sure of making a measured and effective response to the problem at hand.
Elimination or substitution
Firstly, you should always try to work out if exposure to a skin hazard can be eliminated completely by altering the process used. If not, then maybe the dangerous substance can be substituted for something which is less harmful? If the answer is still no, then you should consider the next step which is engineering controls.
Engineering controls help to prevent an employee from coming into contact with skin hazards. These include spray booths, automated handling equipment and tools with longer handles which increase the distance of the vulnerable area from the hazard.
“You should always try to work out if exposure to a skin hazard can be eliminated or prevented first”
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
If it is still not possible to control exposure to a safer level, then PPE should be used. Gloves and protective coveralls are examples of PPE used to control exposure to skin hazards. PPE can also be used as an interim measure while other long-term controls are being put in place.
If you would like to know more about skin hazards and how to identify them, please call our Health & Safety Helpline today on 0870 60 800 60 (United Kingdom) or 1 800 320 500 (Ireland) and we’ll be delighted to answer your questions.