Chemical Safety in the Pharmacology Sector
Updated: May 4
If you work as a pharmacist you'll be used to clean working environments, where everything is in it's proper place, everyone is generally careful, there is little noise and less air pollution.
Sounds pretty hazard free, right?
Well, apart from your usual hazards, like electricity hazards or trip hazards, pharmacists also need to be aware of the risks they're exposing themselves to when working with the chemicals they prescribe to patients.
If a spillage occurs or there is a case of improper handling of these pharmaceutical agents then there is a risk of irritation to everyone exposed. Several of these substances are know to cause irritation to several bodily functions, including respiratory systems, as well as more serious allergic reactions.
Assessing the risks
Risk assessments an in-depth analysis of a workplace and the work processes that are undertaken there to determine whether there are hazards present and what health risks those hazards present.
They are basically your way of ensuring that you and your coworkers remain unharmed while at work. They are also a legal requirement under current government regulations.
Disposing of the waste
There is also the waste to consider; the medical industry produces a massive amount of waste and a shocking amount of that waste is unused, unusable prescription medication.
Did you know the NHS alone pay out £300 million every year to get rid of out-of-date medicine that can no longer be used? None of those wasted medicines can be recycled either, so they are taken for 'safe' disposal.
Every business who produces medicinal drugs or medical waste should have policies in place to frequently check on the health and safety of staff to ensure the proper care, handling and storage of these substances.
Training in health and safety and chemical safety ensures that your workers are aware of the risks involved and are able to deal with any incident that occurs when working with pharmaceutical agents and healthcare waste products.
It will also ensure that the workers take the proper care to protect their own safety by using the proper protective equipment and safety clothing.
If you work in a pharmacy and you're worried about exposure to hazardous substances and the effects they can have on your health, you can take the the COSHH Risk Assessor Certification™ where I will teach you how to identify the hazards and assess the risks!