Hazardous Chemicals are dangerous to humans, property, and the environment, and are commonly used across many industries (and workplaces) in Australia. We work with clients to assure safety, education, and strict management practices are carried out and maintained when dealing with hazardous elements.

Chemicals enter the body principally through inhalation, skin absorption or ingestion. The toxic effect caused by exposure to hazardous chemicals may be acute, chronic or both.

To start off, we’ve outlined a standard Hazchem Risk Management Process to provide a better idea of what to look out for if your employees handle chemicals on a regular basis.

A list of reactions and health effects as caused by hazardous chemicals can be attributed to a number of causes:

  • Corrosive chemicals (such as acids, and alkalis) cause destruction at the site of contact. Skin, eyes, and digestive systems are the most commonly affected parts of the body.
  • Irritants (chlorine) cause inflammation of tissues where they are deposited. Skin irritants may cause reactions like eczema or dermatitis. Severe respiratory irritants may cause shortness of breath, inflammatory responses, and oedema.
  • Allergic reactions (metals, oils) can be created by chemical allergens or sensitisers which cause skin or respiratory allergic reactions.
  • Asphyxiants (CO, H2S) exert their effects by interfering with the oxygenation of the tissues. Simple asphyxiants are inert gases that dilute the available atmospheric oxygen below the level required to support life. Oxygen-deficient atmospheres may occur in tanks, holds of ships, silos or mines. The oxygen concentration in the air should never be below 19.5% by volume.
  • Human carcinogens (benzene, vinyl chloride) are chemicals that have been clearly demonstrated to cause cancer in humans. Soot and coal tars were the first chemicals suspected to cause cancer.
  • Reproductive effects (manganese, mercury, lead) interfere with the reproductive or sexual functioning of an individual. Developmental toxicants are agents that may cause an adverse effect on offspring (such as birth defects) of exposed persons. Embryotoxic or foetotoxic chemicals can cause spontaneous abortions or miscarriages.
  • Systemic poisons (lead, mercury, cadmium) are agents that injure particular organs or body systems which cause long-term chronic illness.

Can you spot potential hazards lurking in the images below?

 

GCG work with clients to promote practices in order to eliminate all forms of hazardous exposure to chemicals and maintain systems to ensure all practices are undertaken according to regulations and legislation outlined in the Dangerous Goods Standard and the NOHSC model.

Adhering to the WHS system of chemical classification, and hazard communication on labels and Safety Data Sheets (SDS), we believe our clients have the ability to successfully control the well-being of their people who deal with hazardous chemicals in the workplace.

Stay up to date with the latest in WHS and occupational hygiene news.

News & Media

Reducing Dust Exposure: The importance of understanding particle size

It’s important to consider a range of factors when determining the level of risk that dust poses to worker health, including the type of dust, the size of the dust particles, the amount of dust in the air, and the length of exposure. Each of these factors is important to understand the potential for a worker to be exposed and how to effectively control the risk. This article will hone…

News & Media

Cross River Rail partners with GCG to ensure the health and safety of workers

The Cross River Rail project will see the development of a new rail line underneath Brisbane River, the construction of new high-capacity underground stations at Boggo Road, Woolloongabba, Albert Street, Roma Street and upgrades to eight existing aboveground stations.  …

News & Media

The unintended consequences of COVID-19 control measures

In 2015, Bill Gates presented a TED Talk which discussed our global lack of preparedness for an influenza pandemic. In the presentation, he talks to a general lack of surveillance, resourcing and treatment approaches which leaves us open to attack. Even for the most prepared organisations, the period of time since COVID-19 was declared a pandemic has been a steep learning curve and hive of risk control activity which…

News & Media

Responding to a positive COVID-19 result in the workplace

With the recent spike in COVID-19 cases in New South Wales and Victoria and the resulting lockdowns, many organisations are reviewing their infectious disease management plans to ensure their worksites remain operational. Employers have an obligation to manage the health and safety risks posed by COVID-19 as far as reasonably practicable. Below we’ve identified some key considerations for managing a positive COVID-19 result in your workplace. Communicating with your…

News & Media

Safely Managing Mould Contamination

Mould is everywhere. It’s a naturally occurring organism that plays an important role in nature’s ecosystem. Low levels of mould can virtually be found everywhere, even in the most sterile rooms.  Mould may grow indoors in wet or moist areas lacking adequate ventilation, including walls/ wallpaper, ceilings, bathroom tiles, carpets, insulation material and wood. If moisture accumulates in a building mould growth will often occur. Who…

Every day more people choose us, contact us today