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Topic: Health and safety policy

use of chemicals at work policy
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Use of chemicals at work policy

Use of chemicals at work policy

If you use chemicals as an integral part of your work process, it makes sense to have a separate policy that details how you approach their safe use. So why not use ours to help get you started?

A standalone policy

If you use lots of chemicals, you may wish to consider having a standalone Use of Chemicals at Work Policy. Like other policies, its purpose is to set out your general approach to their safe use in your workplace, as well as their procurement. Ours is divided into six main sections.

Procedures

One of the most important sections is the one on procedure. Apart from stating that those responsible for purchasing are expected to source less hazardous chemicals wherever possible, it goes on to describe how you manage their use. This section can easily be amended, but as a minimum, it should state that all chemicals will be assessed prior to use for the first time and whether they can be mixed with others. Any assessment should be carried out by referring to the material safety data sheet. If you haven’t received one with the chemicals, call the supplier. Due to the risks of storing chemicals, the policy should also set out that this will be done safely, with regard to the particular properties of each chemical, e.g. corrosive or irritant.

Employee duties etc.

Another section includes an overview of employee duties. Whilst these should be clearly set out in your employment contracts, a policy is a useful means of reinforcing what you expect. In this case, you can state that you require all employees to comply with any safe systems of work which you have introduced. You can also use it to remind employees of their duty to wear and maintain any personal protective equipment (PPE) which you’ve provided. Other sections can include your approach to staff training and how you will monitor the policy’s effectiveness.

 

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