Using Safer Substances in the Workplace 

Hazardous chemicals are a major source of workplace injuries and illnesses. They can contribute to a variety of health problems, including respiratory problems, skin conditions, cancer, and reproductive problems. In some cases, they can even be fatal.

There are several ways to reduce the risks associated with hazardous chemicals. One of the most effective is to use safer substances as alternatives. Safer substances are those that pose less of a hazard to human health and the environment. 

There are many benefits to using safer substances in the workplace. Firstly, they can help to reduce the risk of workplace injuries and illnesses. Secondly, they can help to protect the environment. Thirdly, they can save businesses money on health insurance and other costs associated with workplace injuries and illnesses. 

Factors to consider when choosing safer substances.  

  • The hazards of the hazardous chemical that is being replaced. 
  • The availability, cost and performance of safer alternatives. 


It is important to choose safer substances which are suitably effective in the workplace and that do not pose any new hazards. It is also important to consider the cost of safer substances and to make sure that they are affordable for the business. 

Where to Find Information on Safer Substances 

There are several resources available around the globe to help businesses find information on safer substances. These include: 

  • The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) 
  • The Health and Safety Authority (HSA) 
  • The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 
  • The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 
  • The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) 
  • The American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) 
  • The Green Chemistry Institute 


These bodies / organisations can provide information on the hazards of hazardous chemicals and on safer alternatives. They may also provide guidance on how to choose and use safer substances in the workplace. 

Additional tips for using safer substances in the workplace: 

  • Carry out a hazard assessment to identify all the hazardous chemicals used in the workplace. 
  • Evaluate the hazards of each hazardous chemical and identify safer alternatives. 
  • Implement a plan to transition to safer substances. 
  • Provide training to employees on the safe use of safer substances. 
  • Monitor the use of safer substances and adjust as needed. 


By following these tips, businesses can help to ensure that their workplaces are safe and healthy for their employees. 

The iProtectU health and safety software provides: 

  • An inspection and Audit App which allows for safety inspection of the workplace and associated report 
  • eLearning on a wide range of EHS subjects, which cover chemical safety 
  • Scheduling functionality for managers to send eLearning, risk assessments and documents out to all staff via the software with tracks completion and compliance 
  • Risk assessment templates covering use of hazardous substances 
  • Management system to document control the policy on chemical substances 
  • Method Statement module for the creation of working instructions 
  • Legal register that provides legislation guidance on safer use of chemicals 
  • Incident investigation module that tracks incidents involving chemical substances both with an app and via desktop 
  • Hazard observation app where staff can report and record any concerns regarding chemical safety to the organisation 
  • Asset management App ensuring assets are recorded in the software 



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