Raising the awareness of employers and employees in the area of reducing hazards in the workplace, as well as informing about the risks related to dangerous substances and protective measures – these are the messages of the information campaign conducted by the European Union in 2018-2019 titled “Hazardous substances under control”. Hoger became one of its official partners in Poland.
The EU campaign “Healthy and safe workplace: dangerous substances under control” for 2018-2019 officially began on April 24, 2018. Its initiator is the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA). At the level of member states, it is coordinated by the EU-OSHA national focal points – in Poland by the Central Institute for Labor Protection – National Research Institute (CIOP-PIB).
– We are pleased that such a campaign is implemented, because we see a strong need for the promotion of knowledge and techniques of proper management of hazardous substances in the workplace in Poland. In many industries and companies, mainly in the sector of small and medium enterprises, awareness is simply low or even none – says Paweł Boratyński, technology director at Hoger.
The goals of the EU campaign coincide with the mission of the Hoger, which produces protective equipment – gloveboxes. They effectively separate dangerous substances from operator during the performance of various works in research and development, pharmaceutical and biochemical laboratories, as well as during work with microorganisms, pathogenic substances, radiochemical and chemical carcinogenic substances.
– We have been dealing with nanomaterials for years and we know that although nanoparticles carry a wide range of applications, they can destroy the body’s cells by damaging the cell membrane, accumulate in internal organs and change internal processes – says Krzysztof Skupień, Managing Director of the Hoger, which has grown on the experience of 3D-nano Company. – Many employers do not realize this completely, and the consequences of contact with these types of substances may be different. What’s the worst – unfortunately, it is difficult to define them today.
According to a report by the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU OSHA), nanomaterials and nanotechnologies are seen as one of the main new threats to workers’ health.
– It should be also aware that the number of workers exposed to nanoparticles is much more than just working in the production of nanomaterials. They can be released as a by-product in many industrial processes, such as heat treatment and machining – adds Paweł Boratyński.
According to GUS data, in 2016, 107 enterprises carried out nanotechnology activities, ie 5.9% more than in the previous year; 3910 people worked in the field of nanotechnology, of which 1433 people in enterprises; 3017 people were involved in research and development in the field of nanotechnology. In 2016, as in previous years, nanomaterials were the dominant area in the field of nanotechnology. This area of application indicated 3.8% more enterprises than in 2015.
– Our gloveboxes are designed for employees who work with nanomaterials, but not only. They also work well in industrial processes in which nanomaterials are released as a by-product – Paweł Boratyński sums up.
Important events organized as part of the campaign will be the European Safety and Health at Work Week (in October 2018 and 2019) and conferences in various Polish cities (held until November 2019). Hoger will mention about the campaign during the InterNanoPoland 2018 industry conference, which will take place on 12-13 September in Katowice. Krzysztof Skupień will perform there with a presentation entitled “Safe and dangerous. How to protect the operator and the product. ”
The honorary patronage over the campaign “Dangerous substances under control” in Poland is covered by the Ministry of Family, Labor and Social Policy, the strategic patron is the Chief Sanitary Inspectorate and the Institute of Occupational Medicine. Professor J. Nofera.
More information about the campaign and its events can be found on the campaign website: https://chemia.ciop.pl/, as well as on Facebook.
* European Risk Observatory Report En 8, Expert forecast on emerging chemical risks related to occupational safety and health. European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, ISSN 1830-5946, ISBN 978-92-9191-171-4,2009