11 Nov Temporary workers and chemicals
With the impact of COVID-19, the shortage of skilled and reliable employees and the reminder of having to do things differently, the hiring of temporary workers has increased.
For work where chemicals are involved, effective health and safety management is always important, but making sure temporary workers are informed about the risks is even more crucial.
We have included some points to consider before, during, and after a job. This is not a definitive list, but a starting point for your business.
Before the job starts:
- Employers, or others who can influence change in a workplace, should know their health and safety responsibilities, and make sure that staff who manage their worksites are also up to speed.
- Undertake job safety/risk assessment when planning for the job, and prior to the work being undertaken. This should involve the employees who will be working on the job. This should include reading the material safety data sheet (MSD), or at the very least, have read the safety instructions on the label on the container of all chemical products to be used.
- Make sure that employees know and understand which chemical products are to be used in a job.
- Check that no employees (including temporary workers) have any health or chemical reaction issues, prior to them using the chemicals.
- Explain the safe use of the chemicals involved, and the emergency procedures to the workers, prior to starting the work.
- Ensure all employees have the correct PPE and had been trained on the safe use and storage of the PPE, prior to starting the work.
- Develop safe work processes/safe operating procedures and train the employees, prior to starting the work.
During the job:
- Monitor the work and employees closely as the work progresses.
After the job:
- Did the work go to plan? What can we do better next time?
- If any incidents/accidents occurred during this job, review the incident/accident, and have a think about what corrective actions can be introduced so that the risk of this happening again is reduced.
These are not all the answers, but we hope this provides a few ideas to get it right first time. If time is short for that special contract, apply the simple 5×5 approach to risk assessment, as it could well be time well spent.
Please contact us if you would like to discuss.