Work systems and practices

8. Work systems and practices
8.1. General principles
8.1.1. Work procedures should be devised and followed for all uses of hazardous
chemicals at work to protect workers against the risks which have been identified as a
result of the employer’s assessment of risks.
8.1.2. A work procedure should be devised after other appropriate means to
eliminate and minimise risks have been chosen (i.e. the appropriate chemicals,
technology and engineering control measures for a particular use at work).
8.1.3. The work procedure should incorporate the most effective use of the
control measures provided.
8.1.4. The work procedure should make it clear who is in charge of the work,
specify the particular tasks included in that work (and which individuals have
responsibilities where there is an overlap) and provide for the exchange of necessary
information at shift changeover time.
8.1.5. The work procedures that are devised should be in accordance with the
requirements of national law and practice.
8.1.6. Other than for straightforward tasks, work procedures should be described
in writing.
8.1.7. In particular, written work procedures should be devised and followed
where good work procedures and practices are of primary importance, e.g. during
routine maintenance, the testing, examination and repair of plant and equipment, the
transfer of chemicals (including loading and unloading) and identification of the
content of containers, including the potential hazards and corresponding precautions.
8.1.8. In some cases, the possible risks presented by hazardous chemicals are
very high, e.g. during the maintenance of plant and equipment where entry is necessary.
In such cases a formal written procedure, referred to as a “permit-to-work” system, is
required. A “permit-to-work” form states exactly what work is to be done and when,
and which parts are safe. A responsible person should assess the work and check safety
at each stage and on completion. The people doing the jobs should sign the permit to
show that they understand the hazards and necessary precautions.
8.1.9. For persons working alone, particular attention should be given to work
procedures and to the arrangements in the event of an emergency, and special
provisions made where appropriate.
8.1.10. Work procedures for emergency shut-down of the chemical processes
should be established.

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