OSH in small businesses

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OSH in small businesses

Your business has only a few, or none employees at all, because you are the only one in it?

Furthermore they don’t do hazardous work because they sit in the office, dealing with real estates, accounting or being a beautician, manicurist, etc…

THEN WHY SHOULD YOU DEAL WITH SAFETY?

Well, that’s a mistake… even a 1-person business must meet certain criterias, deal with certain things, and if that fails it can result in severe penalties during an inspection by authorities.

One of the most important of these is probably the chemical risk assessment that any business working with hazardous substances must do.

All right, but we are not a chemical plant, we don’t use hazardous substances…

Businesses use more hazardous substances than you would think. If you use chemicals for washing up (hypo, Domestos and others…) or hand sanitizer, which is usually inflammable, you work with hazardous substances, and in this case a chemical risk assessment must be done.

Preparing a chemical risk assessment is an occupational safety and health activity, so it must be carried out only by an OSH qualified person.

MATERIAL SAFETY DATA SHEET (MSDS)

Also part of this issue is the need to download the relevant MSDS from the manufacturer’s website. The safety data sheet contains the most important information on how to store and use the material, what protective equipment is needed during usage and what to do in the event of exposure (contact with hazardous substances, ingestion, etc…).

Of course, chemical risk assessment is just one of many things to do. If you have at least one employee in your business, you may want to read our blog about the basic occupational safety requirements. There are also specific requirements, depending on what the profile of the particular company is, since obviously there are other dangers for example in a carpentry plant and a tanning salon.

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