Chemical Industry and Occupational Safety

According to Organic Law of Georgia on Occupational Health and Safety, chemical agents are chemicals in the workplace that could adversely affect a person’s health and / or health and may cause temporary or permanent loss of ability.

Employer is liable to ensure that the safety and health of the employee and other persons in the workplace are not harmed; Ensure that physical, chemical and biological hazard factors do not endanger the safety and health of the employee and other persons in the workplace;

Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) make up 92% of the total chemical industry. Such jobs are full of chemicals and hazardous other substances. The employers are required to ensure that the use, handling, storage and transportation of all chemicals is safe. The chemical industry produces many types of substances and preparations that are essential for use in virtually all sectors of the economy, including:

  • Basic chemicals (petrochemicals and derivatives, basic inorganic substances and polymers), which are usually produced in large volumes;
  • Specific professional chemicals (active ingredients and co-formulas for the pharmaceutical industry and plant protection, industrial processes, dyes and inks, auxiliaries, biocides, dyes and pigments);
  • Consumer chemicals (soaps and detergents, perfumes and cosmetics).

The chemical industry is one of the industries with the most stringent safety regulations. Regular inspection, use and maintenance procedures for each unit are essential. Staff may be in close contact with hazardous chemicals. Significantly, according to the National Health and Safety Commission, about 2,300 workers die each year from exposure to hazardous substances.

Exposure to hazardous chemicals can have different health effects, for example:

  • Immediate and severe effects, such as poisoning, swelling;
  • Long-term effects, such as respiratory diseases, occupational cancer;
  • Severe damage to health, for example, skin diseases, allergies, reproductive problems and defects in infants, which can be caused by many causes, including direct contact with contaminated surfaces, by the penetration of strong acids or liquids into the body or body causing burns. Chronic or temporary skin irritation can be caused by a wide range of substances, including solvents, detergents, epoxy resins, isocyanates, oils and fats. Moreover, strong skin effects such as crude mineral oils, PAHs or certain heavy metals (chromium) can cause skin cancer.

In terms of occupational safety and health, the right approach from management is to create a reliable and safe system. Occupational safety management should be integrated into general management and either through an existing trained associate or without outsourced labor specialist:

  1. Basic work study;
  2. Assessment of job-related risks for each stage employee;
  3. Regular inspection and maintenance of each unit;
  4. Employees’ awareness of the risks of exposure to and exposure to these chemicals;
  5. Develop a secure work system;
  6. Selection and monitoring of the use of individual and collective protective equipment by a specific employee.

It is the responsibility of management to create a culture of health and safety in the organization, and it is the responsibility of the staff to consider providing an employer and labor specialist to ensure a safe work process and maintain their work ability and job.