ZFC promotes the safe and secure handling, storage and distribution of chemicals. All chemicals should be marked and hazardous chemicals clearly labelled. Chemical safety data sheets for hazardous chemicals are prepared and made available to transporters, distributors and users.

Instruction, written or oral, based on the chemical safety data sheet and specific to the workplace are developed and chemical handlers trained. Users are encouraged to do the same. Training conducted covers the methods for prevention and control of, and for protection against chemical hazards. For new work activities involving the use of chemicals, the hazards are identified and the risks assessed at the earliest stage when the new work activity is being considered using the Hazard and Operability Study (HAZOP) approach. The hazards and risks are reviewed at each subsequent stage in the development of a new process

Where necessary, there is segregation of the hazardous process from the operators or from other processes. Chemicals handlers’ exposure to chemicals should be reduced through:

  • partial enclosure, with local exhaust ventilation;

  • local exhaust ventilation;

  • work systems and practices;

  • reduction of the numbers of workers exposed and exclusion of non-essential workers access;

  • reduction in the period of exposure of workers;

  • regular cleaning of contaminated areas;

  • use and proper maintenance of engineering control measures;

  • provision of means for safe storage and disposal of chemicals hazardous to health;

 Personal protection should be offered where the above measures do not suffice. This should include:

  • provision of suitable personal protective equipment until such time as the risk is eliminated or minimised to a level that would not pose a threat to health;

  • prohibition of eating, chewing, drinking and smoking in contaminated areas;

  • provision of adequate facilities for washing, changing and storage of clothing, including arrangements for laundering contaminated clothing;

  • use of signs and notices;

  • Adequate arrangements in the event of an emergency.

  • Control measures for the transport of chemicals                       

Hazardous chemicals should be transported in accordance with criteria established by the environmental Management Agency (EMA) and respective local authorities. Empty containers which have not been cleansed of hazardous chemicals should be closed and stored to await disposal or reuse, and treated as if they contained those hazardous chemicals. Empty containers should retain the identification, marking and labelling of their previous contents; be eliminated or a programme should be.

Welfare facilities and personal hygiene

 Adequate washing facilities should be provided to enable workers to meet a standard of personal hygiene consistent with the adequate control of exposure and the need to avoid the spread of chemicals hazardous to health. The washing facilities should be conveniently accessible but situated so that they do not themselves become contaminated from the workplace. Changing facilities should be so situated and designed as to prevent the spread of contamination from protective clothing to personal clothing and from one facility to another.

Information and training

Workers should be informed of the hazards associated with chemicals used at their workplace. Workers should be trained on a continuing basis in the working systems and practices to be followed and their significance for safety in the use of chemicals at work, and in how to deal with emergencies.

Monitoring in the workplace

Chemical handlers should be monitored for the exposure to hazardous chemicals to ensure their safety and health and record kept.

 Fire fighting

 Suitable fire-fighting equipment should be provided for the quantity and characteristics of the chemicals handled. Adequate equipment should also cover off-site transport and storage. Portable fire-fighting extinguishers (hand held or trolley mounted) should be provided for first-stage fire-fighting purposes in accordance with national law and standards. Fire-fighting and fire-protection equipment should be maintained in full working order, which should be ensured by regular inspection. Suitable training, instruction and information should be given to workers about the hazards of fires involving chemicals and the appropriate precautions to be taken.