To ensure that hazardous substances do not cause harm to health, or the environment, consideration must be given to the safe, responsible, sustainable and economical use of substances throughout their lifecycle – from procurement, storage, use, transport and through to disposal.
When working with substances hazardous to health, consider whether the substance can be substituted for a substance with a lower risk, particularly if the substance is a known carcinogen, mutagen, sensitiser or toxic by reproduction. If not, all of the following principles of control are to be applied to reduce the risk (principles may overlap in their application):
- Design and operate processes and activities to minimise emission, release and spread of substances hazardous to health and the environment.
- Take into account all relevant routes of exposure – inhalation, skin and ingestion – when developing control measures.
- Control the exposure by choosing measures that are proportionate to the health risk.
- Chose the most effective and reliable control options that minimise the escape and spread of substances hazardous to health.
- Where adequate control of exposure cannot be achieved by other means provide, in conjunction with other control measures, suitable personal protective equipment.
- Check and review regularly all elements of control measures for their continuing effectiveness.
- Where required, inform and train others on the hazards and risks from substances with which they work, including the use of control measures developed to minimise the risks.
- Ensure the introduction of measures to control exposure does not increase the overall risk to health and safety.