For environmental
occupational health safe
and responsible use

Safe use manual

12. Worker Information and Training

Page 23

Although the least expensive and least difficult, information and training is one of the most important elements of a company's preventive and control program. Investment in industrial ventilation systems, debagging units, enclosed conveyor belts, special hoods, etc., will be rendered meaningless if the work force, including management, supervisors and workers, are not well-informed and trained regarding the important role it has to play in the company's prevention and control program. For example, if a debagging station is poorly maintained, little or nothing will have been gained by purchasing this equipment. However, a properly maintained work station by a well-informed worker, will ensure the effectiveness and efficiency of engineering controls and a spotlessly clean and safe workplace environment.

In this regard, consultation and cooperation at the plant level is necessary. A joint safety committee with both worker and management representatives should be established to ensure that all safety objectives are met and that workers are well informed.

All categories of personnel involved in the prevention of asbestos-related diseases - such as managers, supervisors, workers and members of the joint health and safety committee - should be given appropriate training. This overall approach will be similar for each level of responsibility, with more emphasis placed on different parts of the program given according to line of duty.

Important elements of information and training program for workers include:

  • potential health effects of exposure to chrysotile asbestos
  • risks of smoking and chrysotile asbestos exposure
  • general preventive measures
  • good industrial hygiene practices
  • work stations and jobs requiring special protective equipment
  • personal protective equipment (e.g. respirators and protective clothing
  • need for medical examinations and specific types of tests required (e.g. chest X-rays, pulmonary function tests)
  • Caution signs and labels with emphasis on those areas where special care must be taken to protect workers.

Information and training should be provided to all workers on employment and periodically thereafter. It should be given in verbal and written form, in a language familiar to all employees.

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International Program on Chemical Safety
Rotterdam convention
Photo-reportage - Control in the manufacture and use of chrysotile cement
ILO Convention 162
ILO Recommendation 172

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