How can dangerous substances be managed?
A prevention culture must be created to successfully prevent the ill health, injuries and deaths caused by dangerous substances in workplaces across Europe. Everyone involved must be aware of the risks and committed to managing or preventing these.
- Raising awareness: this is key. Everyone in a workplace must be aware of dangerous substances, the risks they pose and how to reduce or eliminate risks.
- Risk assessment: this is the first step towards prevention. Employers, managers and workers should be involved. The risks posed by dangerous substances are often complex and many factors must be considered when identifying these risks. Risk assessments must also be kept up to date — as working environments change, so does the potential for exposure to dangerous substances.
- Legislation: this sets out employers’ legal responsibilities to protect workers from dangerous substances. Employers should have a good grasp of such legislation, which includes a hierarchy of prevention measures.
- Practical tools and guidance: these help businesses manage dangerous substances on a practical level. Many such tools and examples of good practice are available on the Healthy Workplaces Campaign website.