EU-OSHA Toolkit Helps Employers, Workers Handle Dangerous Substances


Animated Films Introduce Safety & Health


A new toolkit highlighting the changes to the labeling of chemical substances was recently launched by EU-OSHA. The toolkit helps employers and their workers handle dangerous substances with care and keep themselves safe at work.


The new online toolkit includes the film ‘Danger: chemicals!‘, a poster and a leaflet. The central character is ‘Napo’, the hero in a series of animated films, aimed at introducing workplace safety and health in a funny and memorable way.


New hazard pictograms for chemical products are being gradually implemented in Member States as part of a globally harmonized system , but recent research by the European Chemicals Agency shows that many of these pictograms are not recognized or properly understood . The kit reminds employers and their workers of the new signage and helps them understand what they mean to keep themselves safe at work.



Single Exposure to Substances Can Harm Workers’ Health


About 15% of Europe’s workers report handling dangerous substances as part of their daily work. Just a single exposure to some of these substances can harm workers’ health, with effects ranging from mild eye and skin irritations to asthma, reproductive problems, birth defects and cancer. EU-OSHA wants to ensure that workers and their employers are familiar with the new chemical hazard pictograms, and handle dangerous substances with care.


EU-OSHA is supporting the European Commission in their efforts to raise awareness about the changes in labeling requirements and their relevance for workplaces.


A dedicated web section provides access to the toolkit and a variety of additional training materials and guidance documents, as well as ‘frequently asked questions’ on CLP (the European Union’s classification, labeling and packaging regulation) and REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals) that provide more insight on the topic.



Author Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher. Contact:


©2012 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law.




Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker, attorney, or qualified professional about workers comp issues.

OSHA Cites Illinois Employer for Many Safety Violations

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently cited Central Transport International Inc. for 17 safety, including four repeat, violations at the company's Hillside facility.
According to OSHA, the violations involve allowing workers to operate unsafe forklifts and failing to provide proper eyewash facilities for workers exposed to corrosive chemicals, among others. Proposed penalties total $164,800.
OSHA's Chicago North Area Office initiated an inspection after receiving a complaint alleging that employees were not provided with forklift training and a hazardous material spill had occurred due to a forklift incident. No injuries were reported. (WCxKit)
"Employers who are cited for repeat violations demonstrate a lack of commitment to workplace safety and health standards. Deficient forklifts and improperly handled chemicals can lead to serious injuries or death," said Diane Turek, director of OSHA's Chicago North office in Des Plaines. "All employers must take the necessary steps to eliminate hazards from the workplace."
Four repeat violations with proposed penalties of $132,000 have been cited, including exposing workers to hazards by allowing them to operate forklifts that remained in service even after deficiencies were noted; exposing workers' eyes, faces and hands to corrosive chemicals without providing suitable eyewash facilities; and failing to develop an emergency response plan and conduct fire extinguisher training.
A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. The company was cited for the same violations at numerous facilities between 2006 and 2011.
Central Transport also has been cited for eight serious violations with proposed penalties of $30,800, including failing to train and evaluate forklift drivers, maintain forklift name plates in legible condition, label hazardous material containers, maintain the mechanic shop maintenance area in a dry condition, provide workers with training on hazardous chemicals and provide material data safety sheets for workers reference. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known. (WCxKit)
Finally, the company has been cited for five other-than-serious violations with $2,000 in proposed penalties for failing to maintain the OSHA 300 injury and illness log, maintain fire extinguishers, illuminate exit signs and unlock a fire exit door. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.
Author Robert Elliott, executive vice president, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. See for more information. Contact:
Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.
©2011 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact

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