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Toxins in the Workplace and Right to Know Laws

Holly Hicks, workplacerantings.com

Toxins in the Workplace and Right to Know Laws

If you have ever worked in a workplace that deals with dangerous chemicals or somewhere that you have the potential to come in contact with toxins, you should read up on the Workplace Right To Know Laws in your area. The right to know laws vary depending on your location, but generally they are rules put in place stating that as an employee you have the right to know about any hazardous material that you may come in contact with at your workplace.

Along with this, your employer should have issued you training on how to deal with these substances.  You can view the official document pertaining to this here:

Tips to Deal With Toxins In The Workplace - 

Tip One - Talk to your employer, and find out what dangerous materials are in your place of work.

This can be very important, and many employers seem to skip this step.  I have worked at countless businesses/factories that the employer completely disregards the act of informing us of the elements we may come in contact with.  Not only is this bad for the employees, but it could also get the business owner in a lot of trouble.  So, if you are facing this problem, first I suggest you talk to your employer about this, they should be more than willing to help you make a list of toxins/chemicals.

Tip Two – Make A Training Guide For These Chemicals - 

After you have completed making a list of all the dangerous chemicals, it is time to make a training program for handling these chemicals safely.  Many factories and places you regularly occupy will handle chemicals and will already have one of these, but places where you are exposed to chemicals not as frequently, may not have one.  This guide should include a list of chemicals that may be found in your workplace, how to handle them, who’s responsible for handling these chemicals, and how to dispose of these chemicals.

Note – You shouldn’t be the only one making this training guide, your employer should take responsibility and he should be completing it.

Tip Three – Make An Emergency Plan - 

My final tip to you and your workplace will be to make an emergency plan in case someone is exposed to these chemicals.  This can be a panicky time if someone gets hurt when using chemical/toxins, so it is better to have a plan so that you can react quicker.  Most of the time these emergency plans include phone numbers of chemical control, chemical department of the fire department, and the chemical/burn department in the hospital.  The safer you workplace environment is, the better!

Image courtesy of (Paul) from FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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