Chemical Hazard in the Workplace

Subject: Science
Type: Exploratory Essay
Pages: 6
Word count: 1630
Topics: Chemistry, Environmental Issues, Public Health, Work Ethic


This paper aims at providing an in-depth understanding of chemical hazard that may at times occur in the workplace, thereby highlighting the effects that these agents such as asbestos have on the human being within a working environment. Health risk and safety measures are projected towards the exposure of hazardous elements. 

Introduction to Principles 


Toxicology can be defined as a scientific study on various harmful effects of the chemical as well as physical agents on the living organisms mostly caused due to the physical phenomena such as radiations and noises. In other words, toxicology is the study of detection, properties, occurrence, effects as well as regulation of various hazardous substances (Hodgson, 2011). 


Physiology, in this context, is termed as the study of the functioning of the living organisms, through which it describes how different parts of the living organisms along with their individual operations. It has now become a term for depicting the study of different plants and animals (Pearson Education, 2013).


Epidemiology is considered to be a scientific study on the public health with a good reason. It is a study based on the distribution along with the determinants of the issues related to the health of the vast population. Epidemiology, therefore, favours the development of an application towards controlling as well as prevention of different health problems (Bonita, 2006; Dicker, 2006). 

Brief History and Consequences of Asbestos Uses

Asbestos is a situation, in which the workers face hazards in their working environment. This may lead to the problems associated with mineral silicate fibres, which are made of the serpentine as well as the amphibole series. History further states about the fact that Asbestos is being mined as well as used for almost 4000 years in the domain of housing (Mesothelioma Help, 2018). It was later on proved to be effective among the textile, building as well as the construction sites for the past 2000 years. These essential properties of the Asbestos have been proven to have developed during the 20th century (History Cooperative, 2016). Main reasons for the numerous deaths due to asbestos are that it develops incurable diseases in the lungs, which further create difficulties at times of breathing. Over several years, the exposure towards asbestos has resulted in a numerous death of the workers. Another reason behind the use of asbestos causing death is that it involves an evaluated risk of developing cancer among the workers (Asbestos, 2018).

Harmful Effects to target Organs 

Different types of harmful effects on the targets organs in the workplaces are categorised into three forms which are a chemical, physical and biological hazards. Chemical impacts on the organs of a human in the working place involve heat exhaustion along with the heart stroke, asphyxiation, fever due to inhalation of metal fumes, asbestosis as well as cancer among others. These can be segregated into physical effects as well as biological effects (OSHA, 2012). It is known that the mineral fibres of Asbestos resist heat as well as corrosion in the workplace before a situation becomes hazardous by their effects. Its effects comprise the chronic lung diseases and other cancers (OSHA, 2014). 

Effects Associated with Hazardous Substances

In contact with the hazardous substances in the workplace, various effects can be stated as painful such as severe skin burns at the time of handling concentrated acids. Inorganic hydroxides in the workplace can also cause a severe damage to the human skin tissues (UT Dallas, 2012). Major specified effects associated with chemical hazard in thwe work environment consist of mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer, asbestosis and diffused thinking of a person (Smith, 2011).

Techniques for Assessing Exposure to Hazards

There are five steps which are most often implemented in the different workplace in order to reduce the health risk assessments of the workers. The first step is the identification of the hazards and identifying those prone to getting affected. This is followed by the step involving the knowledge of the actions to be taken for minimizing the risks as low as possible whereas the third step comprises recording various findings of the required risk assessment. The next step entails implementing the risk assessment plan of asbestos, which is then followed by the fifth step including the review process of the completed assessment and updating them in the record. Various legislation of the UK on assessing the asbestos in the working place falls under the “Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012” of the UK (Health and Safety Executive, 2006).

Exposure Information in Assessing Risk

There are numerous ways, in which exposure information can be used in assessing various risks in the working place such as providing proper training and education to the workers, engaging in effective communication within the work environment along with the epidemiology, monitoring the exposure of its major facts (National Park Services, 2009). Exposure of Asbestos assists in the calculation of the various major risks that are faced by the workers. They manufacture the product as well as various risks being faced by the registered students of the school dealing with the asbestos products. Various decisions that are made on the asbestos products also involve a participation of every party only after obtaining the estimation of the risk. These exposure decisions are made on the basis of cost-effectiveness for reducing the risks (ATSJournals, 2017). 

Rising of Hazardous Substances in the Workplace 

There are different ways, in which an exposure to various hazard arises in the working place due to the chemical and physical agent’s properties in the workplace, its particles, and compounds. Cancer-causing chemicals also leads to the rise in the exposure of hazard along with the allergy-causing chemicals also increase the chances of asthma and other breathing related disease among the workers (Department for Occupational Safety and Health, 2011; Rose & Cohrssen, 2011). Fibre and dust are also known to be one of the causes as they are inevitable substances that are emitted in the industry sites, thereby causing skin as well as organ related problems. Gases along with the vapour smoke and fume also contribute to a rise in the exposure of hazards, which are hence labelled as the packaged chemicals (Department for Occupational Safety and Health, 2011). 

Not paying attention at times of installing electrical devices, using the device as well as while maintaining the condition of the electrical devices may also cause malfunctions, thereby leading to overheating at times and getting exposed to the harmful chemicals in the working place (Department for Occupational Safety and Health, 2011). Asbestos is one of the major hazards that is created in between work. Emission of the heat and other chemical substances causes various lung diseases as well as cancer. Under the “The Control of Asbestos Regulation 2012”, major death occurrence in the workplaces was caused by the hazardous substance of Asbestos (Crown, 2012).

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Methodological and Technologies To Control Exposures and Reduce Risks 

Almost every principle is applied in the working environment to create a healthy and safe working area for the workers. Various technological methods and its applications are applied in the working place such as Information system (IS) for reducing health risks of the workers and other working staffs. These technological methods are stated as the compliance of regulations on fire, thereby commanding the regulations based on the working environment, characteristics of experiencing natural disasters in the location of the working place and moderate humidity along with the temperature of the working environment. Other elements comprise updating the installation dates of the electronics, uninterrupted supply of electricity and minimized the power of the magnetic field to prevent the data loss along with the availability of the brighter lights in the working environment. Keeping dust and dirt in the technology, training of the workers, authorizing admission of new hardware and software components of the technology are also considered as an effective element (Nikolić & Dimitrijević, 2009). 

Furthermore, authorizing the new data, maintaining hardware and software, variations of the voltage, keeping updated software of anti-virus, procedures on recovery as well as back up are mandatory for the technology to conduct the risk assessment. Not allowing the access to the remote should be practised or else consideration of encrypting the connection must be included. Furthermore, encrypting the traffic of the wireless network, as well as other users along with the segmentation of the internal firewalls along with its various networks, are very important to be noted among the technologies and its methods for assessing the risks in the workplace (Nikolić & Dimitrijević, 2009).

Furthermore, “The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012” consists of various assessments of risk associated with Asbestos and its products. This regulation involves numerous workers who are provided with an initiative of actions falling under the regulation. Other works that must be conducted involve reducing the exposure to the lowest possible amount for stabilising the risks of Asbestos through the implementation of different controlling measures along with the distribution of systems associated in controlling the risk to its respective places. Removing the Asbestos unnecessarily can prove in getting fatal to the human lives (Health and Safety Executive, 2006). 


Focusing on the various hazards encountered almost daily by the workers in the workplaces, this paper establishes a proper statement of the assessments of such risks and health care of the workers. Specifying various hazards and their causes, concepts of encountering them and taking caution in many ways has been included in the statement. A clear conceptual understanding of the assessments with strategies, methods and key aspects on the risk assessment has also been highlighted in the paper for the attainment of the primary objective i.e. broadcasting different ideas with a recommendable message to the workers. The message, therefore, must project the manner in which they can identify the risks, assess them and take precautions to deal with them in different situations.

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  18. UT Dallas, 2012. Chemical and Hazardous Materials Safety. Department of Environmental Health and Safety [Online] Available at: [Accessed February 14, 2018].
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