Health issues - Chemicals
When manufacturing or processing plastics often chemicals are used as a part of the process. Chemicals can either be added to the product or be produced as a by-product as a result of the process eg in the form of plastic fume.
If you are using chemicals that can harm people's health, or if chemicals are produced as a result of the process it is important to carryout assessments, commonly known as COSHH assessments.
COSHH assessments should look at how chemicals are being used, produced or stored in your workplace. They should consider how people could be exposed to the chemicals eg by inhaling them or absorbing them by the skin and what harmful effects any exposure would have on them. Finally, you should then review all of this information and work out the right control measures for your workplace. The following links give more help advice and help on chemical exposure in the plastics industry and measures that can be taken to protect peoples' health.
- Plastic Fume - Controlling fume during plastics processing (PPIS 13)
- Styrene - Assessing and controlling styrene levels during contact moulding of fibre-reinforced plastic (FRP) products (PPIS 14)
- Isocyanates - these are an occupational asthmagen that are commonly used in plastics manufacturing.
- The asthma website give further advice.
- COSHH - Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH)
- COSHH Assessments - How to carryout a COSHH assessment
- Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV) - Information for employers
- LEV - Buying and using LEV including 14 monthly test