Businesses with industrial chemicals they don’t intend to use or haven’t sold for some time find themselves with a problem.
For good reason, people are cautious when it comes to handling chemicals. Yes, chemicals play an important role in most industry, and yes they are an indispensable part of the modern world. But if not handled with care, they can also be dangerous.
No responsible business owner wants to put his/her employees (or anyone else) in harm’s way as a result of the improper handling of dangerous substances. And they definitely don’t want to find themselves with the legal implications of such accidents.
The good news is that, for the most part, Australian business are responsible when it comes to chemical handling.
According to the Plastics & Chemicals Industries Association’s (PACIA) Health and Safety Performance Report 2013, there were no fatalities in the sector. In addition, less than eight per cent of workplace injuries in the sector which resulted in the loss of workdays were chemical related. And less than six per cent of injuries in the sector which required medical treatment were chemical related.
The remainder of injuries related to manual handling mishaps, slips, trips and so on.
The report found there were 351 ‘site incidents’ which involved chemicals or chemical processes at 19 sites; two site incidents involving fire or explosion with at least $20,000 property damage; and 20 site incidents involving release of dangerous goods equal or greater than 200L or 200kg.
Nevertheless, businesses often do find themselves trying to work out what to do with chemicals on their premises. Generally, they would rather not store them on-site indefinitely.
The problem can be complex.
The chemicals may be perfectly usable but may be in unsuitable or obsolete packaging. Then in other cases, the chemicals may have hardened and become unusable. And in other cases still, the business may simply not be able to sell the chemicals. Or the business may be dealing with a combination of all of the above.
The answer, of course, is to enlist the services of somebody with chemical handling expertise; somebody who can take the product away or break it down and repackage it so it is again suitable for use or resale.
Such experts can help ensure the safety standards of Australian industry can be maintained or even improved.
Download this free guide that looks at chemical handling solutions that can help improve safety and increase production efficiency for Australian industry.