Dangerous substances, chemical and biological, can be found in almost all workplaces, with millions of EU workers coming into contact with them everyday.
In particular, young workers seem to be most at risk; it has been proven that 18-24 year olds are more likely to have a serious accident at work, mainly due to a lack of sufficient training and supervision. New to the working world, we are unfamiliar with the dangers of coming into contact with dangerous substances, increasing our risk of illness or injury.
Effects can be acute or long term, even resulting in death in some extreme cases. For this very reason, more information on dangerous substances should be provided to vulnerable young workers – if this is not provided by your management or supervisors then the Dangerous Substances e-Tool, designed by the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA), is an extremely useful asset to improve health and safety measures for you at work.
The e-Tool acts as an easy-to-use interactive web-based guide that personalises information for you as an individual by analysing your occupational background. It provides an extremely useful overview of all the hazards related to dangerous substances that you will have to consider on a day to day basis in your workplace. The e-Tool also provides recommendations on how to appropriately deal with these hazards, including to-do checklists and overviews of recommended practices and measures that when adopted, will massively reduce the level of risk for you.
What I have found to be the most useful aspect of the e-Tool is the information on the official policies and procedures related to each dangerous substance – young workers such as myself often feel insufficiently trained in the proper procedures concerning chemical and biological substances and lack the confidence to ask their employer for necessary information. In these cases, the e-Tool is invaluable, as the guide provides customised information on the proper rules and regulations of each substance you may come into contact with – helping you to put disciplined and coherent measures into place in your workplace while also reducing any associated risks for yourself.
Overall, EU-OSHA’s Dangerous substances e-Tool is a simple and useful solution for those who feel unsure about the dangerous substances in their workplace – all necessary information is at your fingertips, whether it be about the substances themselves, how to properly handle them or about the recommended methods and procedures to improve health and safety in your workplace.
PPE Media LTD is a media partner of EU-OSHA.