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MelanieSaunders posted a blog entry in Being Greener Every DayFor businesses that routinely find themselves working with chemicals or hazardous goods, it’s essential to do everything possible to minimise their risk. Of course, there’s an incredible risk when working with explosives, corrosive acids and poisons, though with the correct precautions and procedures, these risks dissipate almost entirely. If you’re having trouble educating your workforce or just looking for a few steps on how to minimise chemical risks, we have four essential steps for you below. There’s always a multi-step process when it comes to minimising risk, but it’s not too hard to remember, and we’ve taken a look into these below. Fortunately, a few somewhat simple changes can work wonders for the safety of your business, so making these won’t be very difficult at all. Let’s make your workplace as safe as can be, take a look at our tips below. 1. Identify and Understand This is the essential first step to reducing the risk of harm in the workplace. Nor yourself or an employee can effectively deal with a chemical, poison or explosive without first knowing what it is, what its risks are, and how to store it safely. With that in mind, it’s crucial to take a look at the Safety Data Sheet that has come with the substance and work out just what it is. If it should be stored in a compliant way, then invest in a Storemasta cabinet, and you’ll be checking off an essential requirement: safe storage. Once you’ve identified what a chemical is, and how it should be handled, you can then move on to assessing how best to deal with it. 2. Assessing Risk and Potential Harm As we now know the substance and its basic requirements for storage, we can then move on to understanding the risks it poses to the workplace. You’ll need to know whether the chemical is going to cause vapours to spread through the warehouse or workplace, or if it can catch fire under certain conditions, for example. We suggest undertaking a risk assessment of that specific hazardous good and learning about the potential risks it poses. In doing so, you’ll have an in-depth look at what the substance is capable of, and how to keep it from doing any harm. In the end, after assessments and some brief research, you should know exactly what the substance’s risk is, and how to mitigate it. 3. Work to Control Risk The first two steps in our list will have shown you just what a chemical is, how it should be handled, and what harm it can cause. With these points in mind, you should then develop a plan and educate staff on how to control risk when working with that specific chemical. A few tips we suggest are: - Adapting workplace tasks that could result in injury - Investing in personal protection equipment or PPE - Change workplace paths to keep staff away from an unsafe area. Without a doubt, prevention is the best medicine when it comes to reducing the risk of a hazardous chemical harming someone. It’s also a good idea to implement the following tips to reduce risk further: - Invest in correct ventilation for chemicals. - Install a Storemasta cabinet for storage. - Automate or enhance tasks that require chemical use. Adding these few tips is essential to relatively neutralising risk, regardless of how dangerous or hazardous a substance may be. 4. Maintain Safety The final step to minimising hazardous good's risk is to implement a few changes in the workplace that revolve around the hazards themselves. These could include permanently changing workplace tasks, implementing mandatory workplace safety meetings and developing a workplace-wide safety protocol. If you plan on maintaining the safety of your workplace, there's little chance that the hazards will again crop up, keeping everyone safe in the long term. It may also be a good idea to have a professional WHS risk assessment worker come to your workplace on a routine basis throughout the year to run a few tests and take a look at how things are going. These people will be able to spotlight potential risks and let you know what to do to reduce the chance of an injury.
Dixie Somers posted a blog entry in The Green Machine BlogToday, more people are incorporating green designs and technologies into their homes, and for very good reasons. It provides a safer environment for your family, saves on energy costs, and helps to cut back on contaminants that wind up in the environment. Here are some ways to make sure your home isn't a part of the problem. 1. Energy Audits An energy audit can tell you where and how your electricity is being wasted, whether it's poor insulation or inefficient appliances. Better energy efficiency means less demand and less environmental damage from utility companies, not to mention saving you money. You can get an auditor fairly cheaply, perhaps even from your own electric company. Savings over the long term will more than justify any cost. 2. Maintain Your Heating and Cooling System If your HVAC system hasn't been inspected or replaced in years, it may be wasting energy. Old systems won't run as efficiently as newer models. Even if it's new, verify that it's properly sized for your living space. Inadequate systems have to work harder, while oversized systems draw more power than you need. Also be sure to replace filters, inspect for gaps, and clean ducts periodically so the air flow isn't impeded. 3. Have a Strategy If you don't have any kind of green policy at all in your home, you may be doing more damage than you ever realized. There are a lot of green ideas you can use even on a limited budget. Start recycling, using new energy-efficient lightbulbs, and get in the habit of conserving water and electricity. You could compost yard waste to avoid buying and using chemical-laced fertilizers. At your next home remodel, plan on using recycled or green products. 4. Fresh Water Conserving fresh water is also important to the community and life in general. If you're connected to municipal water lines, water quality is your local government's responsibility. But if you have your own well, it's important that the water is tested periodically by a company like Water Systems Council. Contaminants can be introduced through seepage and rain runoff from the surrounding soil, which may include chemicals like pesticides or industrial byproducts, as well as natural pollutants like radon, nitrates, arsenic, and animal waste. If you have a well as your water source, it's essential to ensure that the water is safe and clean. Every home needs maintenance and the occasional update. If you want to minimize any damage to the environment, try making green practices a part of your lifestyle.