We come across many businesses that fail to properly consider what chemicals they have on-site and therefore don’t control the risks from them.
Recently we have been working with a number of businesses to help them understand the importance of safe storage whether from a potential exposure risk to staff or an explosive/fire risk from flammable substances.
In the first instance one business was storing a large amount of cleaning chemicals (corrosive and harmful) in an area where staff had regular access and where food was being stored. This was clearly not acceptable and when the manager was shown the problem they were able to quickly rectify the problem. However it was not until this was pointed out that the risks were recognised.
In another business they were routinely storing over 100 litres of highly flammable materials in a flammable cabinet; this is well in excess of recognised best practice and could well have caused problems with their insurers. However once this was pointed out they have changed their ordering and have been able to reduce this to below the 50 litres limit suggested. Again the business has reacted positively but they had originally failed to recognise the risks. Could this be happening in your business?
Often solutions are simple changes however sometimes they require a bit of thought and this is where the problem seems to exist. When does your business allow you the time to think about the problems and then what changes are needed to improve situation?