Hazardous Chemical Substances

Hazardous Chemical Substances

Hazardous chemical substances are found in most workplaces and may include, amongst others, cleaning and disinfectant agents, paints, pesticides and fuels.

Hazardous chemical substances refers to any toxic, harmful, corrosive, irritant of asphyxiant substance or, a mixture of substances, including dusts, fumes, gases, mists and vapours, that may produce adverse health effects in individuals when exposed to sufficient quantities.

Hazardous chemical substances can enter the human body through inhalation, ingestion or absorption through the skin or mucous membranes.

The health risk that may be presented to employees exposed to hazardous chemical substances in the workplace is governed by the Regulations for Hazardous Chemical Substances, OHSAct (85 of 1993).

In terms of the said regulations, employers are required to ensure the following:

  • Conduct a hazardous chemical substances health risk assessment every two years.
  • Carry out air monitoring by an Approved Inspection Authority every year for substances with a control limit and every two years for substances with a recommended limit.
  • Zone the area as a respirator zone where the measured concentration exceeds the recommended occupational exposure limit.
  • Implement engineering control measures, administrative control measures and / or use of personal protective equipment to prevent or, where this is not reasonably practicable, adequately control the exposure risk presented to employees.
  • Provide medical surveillance for exposed employees.

OCSA is an Approved Inspection Authority for the monitoring of hazardous chemical substances and can assist your business to comply with statutory requirements. We evaluate employee exposure to hazardous chemical substances through the use of recognised sampling methodologies and our samples are analysed by SANAS Accredited Laboratories.

We are committed to providing you with a confidential report containing accurate and reliable results, give reasons for non-compliance with limits, as well as recommend specific control measures that can be implemented to prevent or control the exposure risk presented to employees.

OCSA can provide you with the following hazardous chemical substances surveys:

  • Employee exposure to hazardous chemical substances, including dusts, fumes, gases, mists and vapours.
  • Evaluation of the air purity from compressed air systems for airline breathing apparatus.
  • Gravimetric analysis of airborne dusts and fumes.
  • Analysis of air, water and soil samples for pollutants and chemical composition.
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