Hazardous Chemical Substances

Navigating Hazardous Substances: Safety Successes and Fails in Hospitality and Professional Services

The hospitality and professional services industries are not typically associated with hazardous materials. However, various cleaning products, disinfectants, pool chemicals, and even art supplies can pose health risks if not handled appropriately. This article explores the importance of identifying and managing hazardous substances in these workplaces, discusses common pitfalls and success stories, and highlights how partnering with MAKROSAFE, an authorised dealership of SafetyWallet, can empower businesses to prioritise safety.

Identifying Workplace Hazards: The First Line of Defense

The cornerstone of any effective hazardous substance management program is hazard identification. This proactive approach involves:

Collecting Information: Gather details about dangerous processes and substances used within your workplace. This information can be obtained from material safety data sheets (MSDS) provided by suppliers, accident records, occupational hygiene reports, and consultations with management or health and safety professionals.

Workplace Inspections: Regularly inspect your workplace to identify areas where hazardous substances are stored, used, or disposed of. Look for leaks, damaged containers, and improper labeling. These inspections can reveal potential hazards before incidents occur.

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Controlling Hazards: Protecting Your Employees

Once identified, hazards in the workplace must be controlled through a hierarchy of controls, prioritising the most effective methods:

Elimination: The ideal scenario is to eliminate the use of hazardous substances altogether. Can you substitute less harmful products?

Substitution: If elimination is not possible, consider substituting hazardous substances with safer alternatives that perform the same function.

Engineering Controls: Implement engineering controls to minimise worker exposure, such as installing local exhaust ventilation systems to remove airborne contaminants.

Administrative Controls: Develop and implement administrative controls such as safe work procedures, training programs, and labeling requirements to inform employees about the hazards and safe handling practices.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): When other controls are insufficient, provide employees with appropriate PPE, such as gloves, eye protection, and respirators.

Common Pitfalls and Success Stories in Hazard Management


Lack of Awareness: Employees might not be aware of the hazards associated with certain substances or how to handle them safely.

Improper Storage and Labeling: Inadequate storage of hazardous substances can lead to spills, leaks, and accidental exposure. Poor labeling practices can leave employees uninformed about the contents and potential hazards.

Insufficient Training: Employees who lack proper training on safe handling, storage, and disposal of hazardous substances are at greater risk of accidents and injuries.

Neglecting Maintenance: Failing to maintain engineering controls, such as ventilation systems, can compromise their effectiveness in protecting employees.

Success Stories:
  • Implementing a comprehensive hazard identification and risk assessment program.
  • Developing clear and concise safe work procedures for tasks involving hazardous substances.
  • Providing regular training programs for employees to ensure they understand the hazards, safe handling practices, and emergency procedures.
  • Maintaining a clean and organised work environment with designated storage areas for hazardous substances.
  • Promoting a culture of safety where employees are encouraged to report safety concerns and participate in hazard identification processes.

If you have any questions, please feel free to speak to one of our Experts

The MAKROSAFE and SafetyWallet Advantage: A Partnership for Safety

Partnering with MAKROSAFE, an authorised dealership of SafetyWallet, offers significant advantages in managing hazardous substances in the hospitality and professional services industries:

Expertise in Hazard Identification: MAKROSAFE's team possesses extensive knowledge of common hazardous substances used in these industries and can assist in identifying potential hazards within your workplace.

Development of Safe Work Procedures: They can collaborate with you to develop clear and understandable safe work procedures specific to the substances and tasks in your workplace.

Training Programs for Employees: MAKROSAFE provides training programs tailored to educate employees about the hazards of specific substances, safe handling practices, and emergency procedures.

Safety Management Software: SafetyWallet's software facilitates recordkeeping of MSDS, safety data sheets, training records, and incident reports. This allows for easy access to crucial information and simplifies compliance with regulations.

Ongoing Support: MAKROSAFE offers ongoing support to ensure you stay up-to-date on the latest regulations and best practices for managing hazardous substances. They can also assist with regular workplace inspections and audits.

Benefits of Collaboration

By partnering with MAKROSAFE and SafetyWallet, businesses gain a distinct advantage in managing hazardous substances effectively:

Reduced Risk of Accidents and Injuries: A proactive approach to hazard identification and control minimizes the risk of accidents and injuries associated with exposure to hazardous substances.

Improved Compliance with Regulations: MAKROSAFE's expertise helps ensure compliance with relevant occupational health and safety (OHS) regulations regarding hazardous substance management.

Enhanced Employee Morale: A strong commitment to safety fosters a positive work environment where employees feel valued and protected.

Reduced Costs: Preventing accidents and injuries translates to lower worker's compensation costs and potential downtime due to illness.

Investing in a well-structured hazardous substance management program demonstrates a commitment to the safety and well-being of your employees.  Partnering with MAKROSAFE and SafetyWallet empowers you to create a safer work environment, reduce risks, and comply with legal obligations.

While the hospitality and professional services industries may not initially come to mind when considering hazardous materials, various substances require careful handling. By prioritising hazard identification, implementing a hierarchy of controls, and providing employees with proper training and equipment, businesses can significantly reduce the risk of accidents and injuries. Partnering with a reputable Health and Safety service provider like MAKROSAFE, combined with the innovative solutions offered by SafetyWallet, empowers you to achieve safety success in your workplace.  This strategic investment protects your workforce, fosters a positive work environment, and contributes to the long-term success of your business.

Embrace a culture of safety today. Contact MAKROSAFE to learn more about their hazardous substance management services and how partnering with SafetyWallet can elevate your overall safety program.

Any questions? Speak to one of our Experts

Additional Tips for Employees Working with Hazardous Substances:

  • Always read and understand the MSDS for any substance before using it.
  • Wear appropriate PPE as instructed, and never modify or remove it in unauthorised areas.
  • Report any spills, leaks, or damaged containers immediately.
  • Maintain a clean and organized work area to minimise the risk of accidents.
  • If you experience any symptoms of exposure, seek medical attention immediately.
  • By working together, employers and employees can create a safe and healthy work environment for everyone.

Let's empower your workforce to work safely, every day! Unlock a Safer Educational Realm with SafetyWallet Benefits.

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MAKROSAFE, as a proud SafetyWallet Authorised Dealership of SafetyWallet, offers a free consultation to assess your current training needs and develop a customised training plan. Contact us today and let's build a brighter, safer future for the South African Hospitality and Professional Services Industry, together. Click on the image below to find a SafetyWallet Solution that suits your business (Branch/Site specific) and get the 21 benefits that includes FREE Health and Safety E-Learning for all staff along with the subscription:


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