Nanotechnology in the workplace
Eight steps must be used for assessing and managing the potential risks from nanomaterials and engineered nanoparticles.
Managing the risks in workplaces
You must follow these eight steps when assessing and managing the potential risks from nanomaterials and engineered nanoparticles:
- Identify the hazards
- Assess the risks
- Identify, document and implement precautions to control risk to people, property, and the environment
- Supervise and maintain controls
- Monitor exposure
- Implement policy and procedures to deal with emergencies, incidents and accidents
- Provide workers with proper information, training and supervision
- Carry out appropriate health surveillance.
Workplace Health and Safety Queensland (WHSQ) is implementing the Queensland nanotechnology work health and safety (WHS) program as part of a national program. The program aims to:
- Encourage workplace obligation holders to identify hazards, risks and controls for nanotechnology through:
- carrying out a health and safety assessment of for handling nanomaterials
- documenting hazard and risk as part of a register of nanomaterial use and storage, and engineered nanoparticle generating processes
- administering a specific nanomaterial control banding risk assessment tool (PDF, 0.71 MB)
- applying the precautionary principle
- labelling where relevant
- completing safety data sheets to accompany nanomaterials as part of the national hazardous chemicals regulatory framework
- integrating nanoparticle risk management process into the safety management system
- evaluating the effectiveness of current nanoparticle exposure controls
- contact WHSQ for advice on the measurement and characterisation of airborne nanoparticles.
How can workplaces receive support and assistance from WHSQ?
WHSQ may contact a workplace if it is identified as possibly involving processes that generate engineered nanoparticles or use engineered nanomaterials; or
- Businesses can contact the Workplace Health and Safety Infoline on 1300 369 915 to request this support and assistance.
Where can I get more information about nanotechnology WHS risk management?
WHSQ is participating in a national approach facilitated by Nanotechnology and Work Health and Safety(Safe Work Australia)
The nanotechnology industry is regulated in Queensland through the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 and by other state and territory governments under their respective WHS legislation.