Hazardous Chemical Substances (HCS)
HCS or “hazardous chemical substance” is identified as any toxic, harmful, corrosive, irritant or asphyxiant substance, or a mixture of such substances in the workplace. These HCSs will be in the form of dusts, fumes, vapours, mists and gases.
In terms of regulation 7 of the Regulations for Hazardous Chemical Substances, 1995, as incorporated under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, 85 of 1993, it is required to conduct air monitoring where the inhalation of an HCS is concerned. The legislation requires that a measurement programme be implemented and that all Table 1 HCS be measure at least once every 12 months and Table 2 HCS every 24 months. If the work environment is altered or a new HCS is introduced then measurements should be redone immediately.
It is advised that an “Assessment of the Potential Exposure to HCSs” be conducted, prior to a HCS measurement programme being implemented. It is a legal requirement in terms of regulation 5 of the Regulations for Hazardous Chemical Substances, 1995, that employers who are exposing their employees to HCS, conduct such an assessment, as least every two years.
The Safety Network (Africa) cc, t/a SafeNet Africa can assist in conducting air monitoring for exposure to any HCS. We make use of internationally acceptable measuring techniques, as per the NIOSH or OHSA Methods.