Chemicals Are Everywhere

Almost every business—no matter how big or small—is affected by chemicals. Many occupations not commonly associated with chemicals are regularly impacted by their use in the workplace, for example, construction workers who are exposed to paints, asphalt fumes, etc., and salon employees who work with chemical dyes and nail-care products.

Most chemicals have practical uses, but they can pose serious safety risks, such as flammability, and health risks, such as respiratory problems, skin irritation and eye injury, to name a few. For more information about chemical hazards and toxic substances in the workplace, go to https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/hazardoustoxicsubstances/.

Products that may be dangerous if used incorrectly

  • Printer/photocopier toner
  • Supplies, such as fuels and paint thinners
  • Cleaning fluids (e.g., chlorine bleach and mildew remover)
  • Dry-cleaning products
  • Pesticides
  • Pharmaceuticals

Safe handling

Proper storage and handling of products, plus employee training, are critical in the work environment—and can save lives. A couple of basic rules:

  • Always use or dispose of chemicals by their expiration dates.
  • Avoid transferring a chemical from its original container to another as this may result in inaccurate labeling.

OSHA Hazard Communication Standard

Employers that have hazardous chemicals in their workplaces are required by the OSHA Hazard Communication Standard to execute a hazard communication program. For a complete list of compliance steps, please visit https://www.osha.gov/dsg/hazcom/.

Be sure to contact your Summit Loss Prevention consultant for more ways to protect your employees from the adverse effects of chemicals.

The information presented in this publication is intended to provide guidance and is not intended as a legal interpretation of any federal, state or local laws, rules or regulations applicable to your business. The loss prevention information provided is intended only to assist policyholders of Summit managed insurers in the management of potential loss producing conditions involving their premises and/or operations based on generally accepted safe practices. In providing such information, Summit Consulting, LLC does not warrant that all potential hazards or conditions have been evaluated or can be controlled. It is not intended as an offer to write insurance for such conditions or exposures. The liability of Summit Consulting LLC and its managed insurers is limited to the terms, limits and conditions of the insurance policies underwritten by any of them.
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