Monday, June 16, 2014

Step 2: Examine Current Chemical Use - Key Questions

To identify targets for informed substitution, you need to know how you use chemicals in your workplace and the hazards associated with each of these chemicals. This step will help you examine your current chemical use.

Key Questions

For each chemical, consider:
  • Where is the chemical being used?
  • What function does the chemical perform?
  • Is the chemical necessary in the process or product? Could the chemical be eliminated without adversely affecting product or process performance?
  • What are the hazards associated with the chemical and how could its use harm workers?
  • How are workers potentially exposed to the chemical (i.e., during manufacturing of the chemical or product, when using a product containing chemicals, when applying the chemical in a service industry, or during chemical disposal)?
To identify priorities, consider:
  • What hazards should be eliminated or reduced first?
  • What uses of chemicals are of greatest concern?
  • What potential chemical exposures to workers are of greatest concern?
  • Could a chemical or process change help improve workplace safety and health?
  • Are the identified priorities consistent with the work plan for transitioning to safer chemicals?

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