Safe handling of hazardous substances in the workplace:

Risks and preventive measures

When it comes to workplace safety, handling hazardous substances is an important aspect. A hazardous substance is a substance that can be harmful to health and/or the environment. It can be gases, liquids or powders, for example. Exposure to these substances can pose various health risks.

In this article, we take a closer look at issues including:

  • Exposure of hazardous substances
  • Inhaling hazardous substances
  • Hazardous substances register

Exposure of hazardous substances

Exposure to hazardous substances can occur in several ways. For example, through the skin, by ingestion or by inhalation.

Inhalation (of vapours, mists or fine particles) is one of the most common ways of exposure to hazardous substances. When the hazardous substances are inhaled, they enter the lungs and can cause damage. This may lead to respiratory problems, allergies, irritation of the eyes and nose, headaches, dizziness and even severe illnesses.

It is important to prevent or minimise exposure to hazardous substances. This can be done by using personal protective equipment (PPE) such as a breathing mask, gloves or protective clothing. At Wijngaarden VeiligGoed, we offer different types of PPE to protect workers from exposure to hazardous substances.

More information on using the right PPE? Visit contact with us and schedule a no-obligation meeting with an advisor.

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Inhaling hazardous substances

Inhaling hazardous substances can have serious health consequences. Therefore, it is important to know which substances are hazardous and how to prevent exposure to them. Here are some tips to prevent inhaling hazardous substances:

  • Ventilation: Ensure good ventilation in the workplace. This drains vapours and gases and reduces the risk of exposure to hazardous substances.
  • Personal protective equipment: Wear appropriate PPE such as respiratory protection.
  • Awareness: Make employees aware of the dangers of hazardous substances and how to recognise them. This can be done, for example, through training and instructions.
  • Storage: Make sure hazardous materials are stored properly and employees know how to handle them safely.

Hazardous substances register

A hazardous substance register is a register that records all hazardous substances present in the workplace. This register is mandatory for employers to comply with health and safety legislation and ensure workplace safety policies.

The register contains information on the hazardous substances present in the workplace, the hazards posed by these substances and the measures to be taken to prevent or minimise exposure to them.

The dangerous goods register includes the following data:

  • The name of the dangerous substance and the danger symbol;
  • The quantity of the dangerous substance present in the workplace;
  • The risks of the hazardous substance and health and environmental impacts;
  • The measures taken to prevent or minimise exposure to the hazardous substance, such as PPE and ventilation;
  • The management responsibility of hazardous substances and monitoring compliance.

The hazardous substance register is an important tool for managing hazardous substances in the workplace and minimising risks to workers. Employers are responsible for establishing and maintaining the register and must ensure that the register is always up to date and that employees have access to it.

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PPE Hazardous substances

The use of personal protective equipment (PPE) is an important part of preventing exposure to hazardous substances in the workplace. This should include breathing protection, gloves, protective clothing, eye and face protection and hearing protection. It is important here that the right type of PPE is used for the specific hazardous substance and the work being carried out.

The laws and regulations governing the use of PPE are laid down in the Occupational Health and Safety Act and the Occupational Health and Safety Decree. Below are some important regulations contained therein:

Important regulations

  • Employers are obliged to risk inventory and evaluation (RI&E) and make appropriate PPE available to workers based on it.
  • Workers are obliged to use the PPE provided in accordance with the instructions and regulations issued by the employer.
  • Employers are responsible for providing sufficient and proper PPE and must ensure periodic inspection and replacement of PPE when necessary.
  • Employers must instruct employees on the proper use of PPE and its operation, as well as on the hazards and risks of the hazardous substances they are exposed to.
  • Employers should ensure availability of suitable facilities for cleaning, storing and maintaining PPE.

At Wijngaarden VeiligGoed we have a wide range of personal protective equipment suitable for different types of hazardous substances and work activities. In addition, tailored advice to help employers choose the right PPE and we provide training of to employees on the proper use of PPE.

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Contact us

Hazardous substances pose a major risk to workers' health. It is therefore very important that employers take the right measures to minimise exposure to these substances to create a safe working environment.

At Wijngaarden VeiligGoed, we are ready to help employers choose the right PPE and provide tailored advice. So feel free to contact us and find out what we can do for you.

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More information

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Phone: +31 184 434 455