If your workforce isn’t properly trained, some of the dangers your employees face on the job can follow them home. Today’s Advisor provides a training outline for ensuring any hazards they face during the workday stay at the work site.
Here is an overview of what you need to know to put together an effective training session.
Who needs to be trained? If your employees work with hazards that could inadvertently be carried home, they need to know that they could place family members at risk and how to avoid doing so. Also, some workplace tools that look like they could be useful at home could instead be dangerous—warn your workers about them, too.
Why train workers in workplace hazards that can affect the home? Some hazards that may not affect a healthy adult can have devastating effects on children. Workers don’t want to hurt their families, but unless they know about the risks, they may not take required precautions, such as leaving contaminated work clothes at work.
Instructions to trainer: If specific programs in the workplace protect workers’ families, make sure workers know why these programs are important. For example, the employer may launder contaminated work clothes or provide tools that are to be left at work because of potential contamination. If employees don’t understand the reasons for the program, they may not comply with it due to convenience or personal preference.
Training introduction: You wouldn’t send a child to do an adult’s job, would you? But if you’re not careful about what you’re carrying home from work, you could expose your children or other vulnerable family members to hazards you face at work.
Don’t take the following hazards home to your family.
Chemical contamination is one of the most common hazards carried from the workplace into the home. Contamination may be carried on the skin or clothes.
According to a study conducted by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), workers have inadvertently exposed their families to hazardous chemicals that include:
- Beryllium and asbestos, which can cause chronic lung disease;
- Lead, which can cause brain damage and developmental delays, and is dangerous to children at much lower levels than are hazardous to adults;
- Mercury, which causes nerve damage, including brain damage;
- Arsenic and cadmium, which can cause poisoning, especially in children;
- Pesticides, which can cause both acute poisoning and chronic health problems like asthma;
- Caustic farm products, which are known to have poisoned farm children;
- Chlorinated hydrocarbons, which are used in plastics, solvents, and pesticides and are environmental toxins that can harm human health;
- Hormone-like chemicals, which can be carried home from farms and pharmaceutical operations and affect the development of both boys and girls; and
- Fibrous glass, which can cause skin irritation in family members when a family’s clothes are washed together with a worker’s clothing that contains the substance.
In tomorrow’s Advisor, we’ll look at more hazards as well as how to prevent them from following you home.