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What workers can do

August 1, 2011

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NIOSH offers the following steps workers can take to ensure their safety:

  • Store chemicals in sealed containers when not in use.
  • Wash hands before eating, drinking or smoking.
  • Avoid skin contact with chemicals. If chemicals do come into contact with your skin, follow directions for washing provided in the Material Safety Data Sheet. Employers are required to provide an MSDS for all hazardous materials used in the workplace.
  • Familiarize yourself with the potential reproductive hazards in your workplace.

To prevent home contamination:  

  • Change out of contaminated clothing and wash with soap and water before going home.
  • Store street clothes in a separate area of the workplace to prevent contamination.
  • Wash work clothing separate from other laundry (at work, if possible).
  • Do not bring contaminated clothing or other objects home.
  • Participate in all safety and health education, training and monitoring programs offered by your employer.
  •  Learn about proper work practices, engineering controls and personal protective equipment that can be used to reduce exposures to hazardous substances.
  • Follow the safety and health work practices and procedures implemented by your employer to prevent exposures to reproductive hazards in the workplace.

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