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Describe the Health, Safety and Workplace Environment.

What are hazardous chemicals?

As a multidisciplinary topic, the occupational health and safety illustrates and targets to address all the relevant factors of the risk of the working environment of the organization. Under the regulations of the WHS policy, hazardous chemical is the substance and the mixture which tends to satisfy the criteria of harmonized system of labeling and classification of the chemicals on the global basis. There are two of the main categories of hazards that are connected to the hazardous chemicals that may result in long term and immediate illness to the people of the organization they are serving. These include physicochemical hazards and the health hazards in the organization which takes a toll towards the health and the wellbeing of the individuals, thus addressing the need for the risk assessment in the organization. Hazardous chemicals are dangerous goods that can be solid, liquid or a vapor (Lundgren & McMakin, 2018). This particular assignment focuses on the use of hydrochloric acid in the organization which is an example of a toxic chemical raising harm to the employees of the organization. This toxic chemical causes various health diseases and can also be an immediate hazard to the environment and the property. The assignment aims to focus on the benefits of the hazardous chemical management system to the organization. In some of the scenarios, it is sometimes necessary to use hydrochloric acid in the workplace for various purposes in the organization. However thus it is required to execute risk assessment system on a regular basis with the effective implementation of the measures of the control by the successful assessment and fostering of a safe culture at the workplace (Jacobs et al., 2015). The following assignment illustrates the role of a consultant towards the successful development and execution of risk assessment in an organization in response to the injury incidents that has resulted from the use of the hazardous chemical, hydrochloric acid and the reluctance towards the prevention and the measures towards the harm.

In relation to the use of the hazardous chemical in the organization, hazard can be defined as the intrinsic substance properties that cause adverse impact to people and the environment of the organization. Health hazards are the basic properties of the chemical causing adverse effects of health. Exposure of the health hazards like hydrochloric acid in this scenario usually tend to occur through the skin contacts, inhalation. The adverse effects of the health can be acute or chronic in nature (Scruggs & Van Buren III, 2016). Some of the typical effects of the health include headache, nausea, skin irritation together with some of the major effects like dermatitis, cancer and more. Another broad category of the associated hazard includes the concept of the physical hazard. These are the major properties of the chemical that tends to result in immediate harm or injury to the people in the organization. HCL causes major harm to the employees who handle the toxic chemicals in a regular basis in their employment role.

Under the act of WHS, it is the duty of the person who conduct the business to ensure the primary duty and ensure the health and safety of the workers and reduction in the possible risk from the business undertaking (Haddow, Bullock & Coppola, 2017). Furthermore measurement of the safe usage, handing and the storage of the substances are some of the factors that the consultant needs to keep in mind while conducting the risk assessment.

Types of Hazards associated with hazardous chemicals

Hazard Identification – There lies two of the major hazards that are directly associated with the chemicals. These are hazardous and harmful for the health of the humans and with physiochemical effects (Government of Western Australia, 2017). The chemicals with hazardous property generally tend to have immediate and long term risks towards the health of the human due to their toxicological properties.

The initial step towards the management of the risk generally involves the identification of all the chemicals that are utilized, stored and handled and generated in the workplace with the proper consultation and analysis via effective communication with the workers and the employees of the organization. The safety data sheets and the labels are main source of the information for finding out if the chemicals are hazardous or not.

Unlabelled containers with some of the cautious taglines or stickers should also be identified and stored in the place of isolation until the proper identification of the contents. The contents should be disposed in accordance with the requirements of the relevant hazardous waste management and with the code of the practice regarding the workplace hazard chemicals (Collins, Munoz & JaJa, 2016). In this scenario, the consultant recognized the chemical, it was hydrochloric acid.

The hazardous chemicals that are generated and manufactured in the workplace  - Under the WHS regulations, it is important for the person who are conducting the business has the duty towards the management of the risks form the hazardous chemicals that furthermore includes the potential chemicals and the reactions among the chemicals (Blackman Jr, 2016). Further identification of the hazards from the manufacturing and the usage of the hazardous chemicals are essential to identify the process of risk assessment. HCL is an example of corrosive chemical with a concentration of 28 to 32% of the hydro chloric acid that results in risk of severe burns and damage of the skin and the eyes, The chemical is furthermore prone to infections and harm in the respiratory track

Registration of hazardous chemical -  The regulation of the WHS requires the registration of the hazardous chemicals at the workplace to be prepared and kept up to date (Ju, 2017). The registration must also be readily accessible to the workers towards the involvement of the handling, using and storage of the hazardous chemicals so that no one gets affected by the chemicals.

Some of the other sources of information includes additional information and data regarding the hazards and the risk that is associated with the use of storage and the generation of the hazardous chemicals obtained from accidental records and the incidents, previous record of the risk assessment, the code for the transport of the goods and the chemicals that are very much dangerous in nature and the web searches on the safety norms of the international work health and safety agencies like the Australian code, The US occupational safety and health administration and the chemical bureaus (Suter II, 2016). Being an consultant for the risk assessment of the organization it is important for the person to have some of the abilities like interpretation of the data on the label of the hydrochloric acid, observation of the conditions of the work and to foresee and the upcoming potential problems together with the reporting of the accurate findings related to the possible effects of the use and the concentration of the hydrochloric acid to the organization.

Management of Risk of Hazardous Chemicals

Types of the risk Assessment – Risk assessment can be undertaken with various detailed degrees that depend majorly on the types of the information and the hazards and the available resources.

Simple and the obvious risk assessments consist of the review of the label and the SDS of the chemical hazards that are used in the workplace and are not that much significant risk towards the safety and health (Lundgren & McMakin, 2018). Generic assessments are the procedure in the workplace involving the assessment of the chemical that are being used.

The process of the risk assessment can furthermore be simplified by the effective evaluation of the nature of the work and the manageable parts.

Grouping of the similar works – The workers performing the use of the similar substances may be grouped together. The assessment of the risks can there be performed in respect to the exposure and the representation of the group. In case of large number of hazard in the workplace, workers need to be grouped on the basis of their performances and the way they handle the use of the chemicals.

Examination of the work practices and the conditions in the workplace – Proper observation and relevant consultation with the workers needs to be done. These involve breakdowns, clearing, maintenance and the shortage and lack of the responsibilities of the employees at the workplace towards the preservation of the wellness and the health care facilities.

The risk assessment must also consider both the health and the physicochemical risks (Sadgrove, 2016). Presence of the hazardous chemicals may result in immediate long term risk to the health of the human with the help of the toxicological properties and their risk towards the safety of the human health and the wellness of the property due to their hazard related to physicochemical ingredients.

Things for consideration while doing the risk assessment –

The assessment of the potential risks includes the gaining of the understanding of the exposed situation where human body comes in contact with hazardous chemicals. The primary objective of the risk assessment includes the needs for the consideration of all the potential risk of the employee in the organization together with the involved workplace activity (Gauthier et al., 2015). The category of the hazard that may range from acute toxicity, sensitization and carcinogenicity with their relevant routes for the exposure like the contact with the skin, the ingestion and the inhalation of the chemical and the harmful gases are needed to be assessed for the risk for the proper understanding of the level of the risk. Silica in the organization is generally considered to be one of the most harmful due to its lung effects and exposure to the excessive concentrations in the workplace (Mathur, Patan & Shobhawat, 2017). The physical form of the substance is also important for the consideration since it possess an overall risk of being extremely hazardous to the health of the human beings.

Determination of the risk and the person who could be exposed to the hazardous chemicals –

Hazard Identification and Registration of Hazardous Chemicals

Employees and the workers tend to come in contact with multiple chemicals that are hazardous in nature, some of the chemical wastes and intermediate excretes that are harmful in nature at the place of their work (Wang et al., 2017). Employees who tend to work directly with the chemicals are generally in the vicinity for further grant and exposure to risk.

The estimated exposure to the hazardous chemicals depends on the WHS policy of the organization of concern. It can be estimated by the assessment of the quantities used, the duration of the exposure and the frequency of it, the effectiveness of the controls and the estimated level of exposure (Lee, 2018). The indication of the concentrations of the airborne hazardous chemicals can furthermore be obtained by simple ad basic tests with the help of dust lamps and the indicator tubes.

The risk control is the most essential step in the risk assessment and management process. The hierarchy of the risk control includes the highest level of protection and the reliability in complying with the WHS Regulations for identification of the measures that mostly and effectively minimize and eliminate the risks.

  • Elimination – One of the most effective risk control method is the elimination of the concentrated HCL(Mathur, Patan & Shobhawat, 2017). Furthermore the chemical should be used in small quantities.
  • Substitution – It is the procedure that involves the replacement of the hazardous chemicals with something that is comparatively less hazardous and of lower risk patterns. The process must involve the substitution of the less volatile materials for the control of the vapor hazards and the mechanical ventilation system (Safe Work Australia, 2018). Furthermore the use of hazardous chemicals with singular class of hazards and the use of the diluted acids and the alkalis in the form of paste and the pellet rather than powder or the dust form can lower or eliminate the risk of spreading of the chemicals.HCL should be kept in the diluted form with water mixture or kept with chlorine mixture.
  • Isolation – Isolation of the workers from the arsenic with the use of the closed systems, the transfer if the flammable liquids and implementation of the process to remove the contaminants (Radonji?, Pisnik & Krajnc, 2015). Furthermore, distancing the employees and the workers from the HCL and the potential risks are some of the measures of isolation. Furthermore, isolation of the hydrochloric acid from other chemicals and the other substances that are not compatible in nature is one of the efficient methods of control.
  • Controls – Engineering controls that includes the process of the minimization and the elimination of the HCL, the suppressing of the containing concentrated hydrochloric acid are some of the best examples of the process of automation.
  • Personal protective equipments – This includes the overalls like the chemical resistant glass, the gloves, the face shields, the respirators and the aprons (Jacobs et al., 2015). The effectiveness of the personal protective equipments relies on the procedures and the instructions of the workers in the workplace. Greater level of superiority is thus required for ensuring of the risk control and the correct use of the PPE.


Hazardous chemicals are extremely dangerous substances that results in harmful effects in the human health and also on the properties of the organization. In the above scenario the detected chemical that is affecting the workforce is the hydrochloric acid. Management of the hazardous chemical, the hydro chloric acid is thus necessary for addressing the resultants effects of the degrading employee health and damage of the organization’s property. Equivalent levels of the information on the chemical hazards and their precautions must be meeting for the effective management of the risks and the safety regulations related to chemical hazards.

Regardless of the controls that are implemented for the prevention of the hazards or the incidents that occurs at the workplace, the employees and the workers can still get exposed to the chemicals and require immediate medical treatments (Wang et al., 2017). Hence recommendations for the emergency preparedness and an emergency plan are necessary. While the effective development of the emergency plan as per the recommendations, importance and consideration should be given to factors such as the nature of the work at the workplace, the nature of the hazard at the workplace, the location and the size together with the number of workers in the workplace who have the tendency to be exposed to hazard chemical (ECU, 2018). Some of the basic recommendations for the plan include effective response to emergency, revised procedures of evacuation, procedures of notification for the advice of the emergency services with the earliest opportunity, assistance and the medical treatment and the effective communication procedure for the co-ordination of the emergency procedure for all the workers and the employers in the workplace (Scruggs, Nimpuno & Moore, 2016). It is furthermore recommended that while the successful analysis of the risk assessment plan for the management of the hazard chemicals in the workplace, a site map should be introduced for the indication of the storage of the hazard chemicals, activation of the communication plan, isolation of the area of emergency for the prevention of any possible accidents by the hazard chemicals, disconnection of the power supplies and the other sources of entry for the maintenance of the safety from the accidents, strategic measures for the prevention of the contaminated materials and the hazardous chemicals from entering waterways. To summarize, the following are some of the useful recommendations:

  • The use of well ventilated space
  • Use of diluted hydrochloric acid at the workplace
  • Use of the ratio acid to water and not water to acid
  • Use of small quantities (Kim et al., 2017)
  • The contacts with the skin and eyes are harmful and should be avoided
  • Use of face mask, PPE, long sleeved dress and safety boots at the workplace while handling HCL
  • Thorough washing of hands
  • In case of skin contact, the affected HCL areas should be washed and the clothes that are contaminated needs to be removed.

Besides all the recommended measures, it is important for the organization to ensure that the emergency plans are readily available in hard copies at all the times in the organization and easily accessible to all the workers. 


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Collins, M. B., Munoz, I., & JaJa, J. (2016). Linking ‘toxic outliers’ to environmental justice communities. Environmental Research Letters, 11(1), 015004. 

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Ju, H. (2017). Research on the risk assessment of hazardous chemical supply chain and the application. Chemical Engineering Transactions, 59, 1123-1128.

Kim, K. D., Jeon, S. M., Hasolli, N., Lee, K. S., Lee, J. R., Han, J. W., ... & Park, Y. O. (2017). HCl removal characteristics of calcium hydroxide at the dry-type sorbent reaction accelerator using municipal waste incinerator flue gas at a real site. Korean Journal of Chemical Engineering, 34(3), 747-756.

Lee, T. (2018). Process Safety Management: Optimized Models Influenced by Organization Culture.

Lundgren, R. E., & McMakin, A. H. (2018). Risk communication: A handbook for communicating environmental, safety, and health risks. John Wiley & Sons.

Mathur, P., Patan, S., & Shobhawat, A. S. (2017). Need of biomedical waste management system in hospitals-An emerging issue-a review. Current World Environment, 7(1).

Radonji?, G., Pisnik, A., & Krajnc, D. (2015). PRODUCT ECODESIGN IN COMPANIES WITH ISO 14001 CERTIFIED ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT SYSTEM. Environmental Engineering & Management Journal (EEMJ), 14(1).

Sadgrove, K. (2016). The complete guide to business risk management. Routledge.

Safe Work Australia. (2018). Managing risks of hazardous chemicals in the workplace Code of Practice. Retrieved from

Scruggs, C. E., & Van Buren III, H. J. (2016). Why leading consumer product companies develop proactive chemical management strategies. Business & Society, 55(5), 635-675.

Scruggs, C. E., Nimpuno, N., & Moore, R. B. (2016). Improving information flow on chemicals in electronic products and E-waste to minimize negative consequences for health and the environment. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 113, 149-164.

Suter II, G. W. (2016). Ecological risk assessment. CRC press.

Wang, L. K., Hung, Y. T., Shammas, N. K., Wang, M. H. S., & Chen, J. P. (2017). Handbook of Advanced Industrial and Hazardous Wastes Management. CRC Press.

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