Prevent Chemical (and Legal) Exposure with a Chemical Exposure Risk Assessment
An assessment for chemical risk exposure in the workplace is an investment in the health and safety of your employees – and your business.
While many companies will undertake a chemical assessment as the result of a workers’ compensation claim or in response to an employee’s report of adverse health symptoms or illness, the best time to assess the safety of chemicals produced or used in your business is before you suspect or have a problem.
“There is no better investment you can make than an exposure assessment that identifies and eliminates potential chemical hazards in your workplace,” said Omega President and Project Director Steve Rosas.
In 2021, two employees of a chemical manufacturing company in Alabama died and a third was injured after exposure to fluorocarbon and other chemicals during a maintenance operation that released toxic fumes, according to an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) investigation. The investigation concluded that the company had “failed to implement safe work practices” during maintenance activities and ensure that the workers were using “appropriate respiratory protection and personal protective equipment.” The company was also cited for “failure to perform air monitoring to assess chemical exposures, provide written procedures to identify the level of required respiratory protection” and adequately communicate the danger to workers.
It was a stark reminder of the dangers that exposure can pose, even in an environment built around chemical expertise.
Should You Undergo a Chemical Risk Assessment of Your Workplace?
A thorough chemical exposure risk assessment conducted by certified industrial hygienists can identify and mitigate any potential sources of chemical exposure in your workplace, along with providing recommendations for protective equipment and other methods of preventing unsafe levels of exposure.
There are numerous reasons, both reactive and precautionary, for conducting a chemical exposure risk assessment, including:
- A workers’ compensation claim
- Employee reports of illness or symptoms
- Maintain worker productivity
- Introduction of a new chemical or process
- To create a documented record of safety practices
- To minimize workers’ compensation expenses
- Peace of mind as a business owner and employer
- To establish employee confidence in the employer’s commitment to their well-being
- Protection against fines and shutdowns due to violations
The Chemical Exposure Assessment Process
Omega Environmental offers assessment, mitigation, and remediation services for chemical exposure as well as chemical exposure risk assessments as part of our suite of comprehensive industrial hygiene services. The assessment includes a thorough evaluation of any potential chemical exposure that could threaten the safety and health of employees, building occupants, and others nearby. It includes assessment for:
- Chemical type (such as pesticides, organic and inorganic chemicals, metals, and fibers)
- Agent concentration
- Frequency of exposure
- Exposure duration
- Source & pathway
- Agent handling
- Observation of work practices
- Personal Protective Equipment used
- Operation processes and Administrative controls
- Engineering controls
Chemical exposure can occur through skin absorption, inhalation, ingestion, or injection. Exposure can occur during routine operations, normal processes, maintenance activities or as the result of an accident or mishap.
Any introduction of a new chemical into your processes should be followed by assessment to determine safe exposure levels and determine the right methods of preventing unsafe exposure. These can include personal protective equipment, ventilation systems or other forms of engineering and/or administrative controls, such as scheduling designed to keep exposure within acceptable limits.
Experienced & Reliable Environmental Assessment and Service
Omega Environmental’s team of toxicologists and certified industrial hygienists work closely with clients to address concerns around exposure. We assess the environment for toxic substances, provide recommendations, and custom-design programs for mitigation and remediation to ensure compliance and best practices under both OSHA exposure limits and threshold limit values established by the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists.
With decades of experience, a highly trained team, and a long track record of providing safe, reliable, and effective environmental support to business owners, government agencies, contractors, and facility safety managers, Omega Environmental provides the support you need to evaluate and mitigate workplace chemical hazards.
Reach out to one of our team members to learn more about the benefits of a risk assessment for your business.