Background Chemical risk is the result of occupational exposure to a chemical agent. This exposure can induce several effects that can cause fatal intoxications.
Purpose The purpose is to assess the risks related to the chemical reagents used in the control laboratory and to propose preventive measures to reduce these risks.
Material and methods We used a tool named OPERA ‘First Chemical Risk Assessment Tool by Activity Analysis’. It allows to quantify the level of severity of the chemical risk and to guide its reduction.
The quantification of the level of severity is established by giving the information on the label or on the material safety data sheet: the nature of the risk; the nature of the safety; the conditions of use products; and the respect of safety measures.
Two scales of values have been established: the first allows the qualification of the level of severity of the risk and the second prioritises the setting up of an action.
Results Our analysis is established for 85 chemical reagents in the laboratory. Twenty-four per cent of the reagents are classified as non-hazardous, such as calcium carbonate. As for the ‘dangerous’ products, the analysis showed that 37% of these reagents present a high to very high risk, such as formaldehyde, 42% have a medium risk such as nitric acid and 21% pose a low to very low risk such as acetone.
Our second aim was to reduce risks, so we have proposed preventive measures such as the use of personal protective equipment (mask, gloves) and collective (hoods). The levels of risk have significantly decreased: 82% of the reagents with a very low risk and 12% have a medium risk. The products that have kept a very high severity are used rarely and in small quantities.
Conclusion Our results concord with the literature. We have demonstrated that the level of severity of reagent is manageable by acting on two risk factors: the respect of the safety measure of each chemical and the exposure of the operator to the operations carried out.
Reference and/or acknowledgements
Abecassis P. La méthode Oper@ pour l’évaluation chiffrée du risque chimique. Arch Malad Profession Environ 2004;65:2–3.
Reference and/or acknowledgementsNo conflict of interest.
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.