Essay on a Chemical Hazard: Accidents and Their Effects

4 pages
1008 words
Middlebury College
Type of paper: 
This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

A chemical hazard is brought about when one is exposed to chemicals that are harmful. This could be at their workplace or homes. Examples of such hazards are liquids such as acids, fumes and materials that are flammable. These can bring about physical or health risks. A victim can be exposed to chemicals through inhaling, swallowing or explosion. Some agents of chemical hazards could include water, soil, air or food (Hutzler & Luch, 2014).

These are health effects associated with chemical exposure. These include burns and poisoning which occur instantly. Additionally, there are long-term effects such as organ damage, birth defects, and reproductive problems, cancer and organ damage. This, however, could depend on the type of chemical and the length of time one is exposed to it. Chemical hazards could also lead to loss of life (Hutzler & Luch, 2014). They could also affect the environment and livestock. Chemical accidents are categorized according to the number of casualties or damages caused. The common chemical effects include skin irritation, eye injury, blindness, serious burns and poisoning when one accidentally swallows or consumes harmful chemical products especially in children.

Hazard Analysis/ Prevention and Safety Management

For one to prevent poisoning, they should ensure that they read the label on the bottle. They should also follow the directions given on how to use the chemical. It is advisable to always ensure that you take precaution of yourself and those around you. It is never right to use any chemical that you are not sure on how you should protect yourself in case of any accidents. Ensure that you dispose of the bottle properly so that it does not bring about any more accidents (Khan, 2014).

People are advised to practice good personal hygiene like washing hands and cleaning regularly so as to reduce the amount of chemical substances that ones body is likely to take in. every home and workplace should have good ventilations installed so that it reduces the concentration of chemical substances that might be present. People should reduce their use of hazardous chemicals or even stop using them if possible. While handling chemicals, it is ethical for one to put on protective gears since the body absorbs chemicals that could be harmful to the body. Chemicals should be handled with care so that they do not leak causing harm to the environment and those in it (Khan, 2014). Every organization should ensure that their employees are well taken care of and their workplaces should be safe from chemical hazards as well as at homes.

The Occupational Safety and Health act was formed in 1970 with the aim of protecting workers from the dangers associated with chemical hazards. It also aims at providing programs concerning health meant for both employers and employees. Employees are granted rights such as not being discriminated from making complaints, receiving training on how to prevent harm, they are allowed to file complaints with OSHA regarding the risks at their workplaces and finally they have a right over a copy tests done to them. Conversely, employers are expected to provide a safe workplace that is free from hazardous chemicals. They try and do away with or reduce the hazards that exist. If such hazards cannot be done away with, then employers should be provided with safety gears at no cost (Kohler, 2015).

The OSH standards were created in 1978 with the aim of providing safety in the social, economic health along with the physical and health safety. The standards were approved in 1989. Employers are urged to comply with all the standards set and ensure that their places of work are free from any serious hazards. A company or individual may be faced with two OSH liabilities which include one represented by the criminal charges where fines and convictions are issued. The second type of liability is one which is represented by the civil claims such as damages. The health and safety representatives are excluded from such liabilities according to the OSH act. At a workplace, if the supervisor does not take his or her responsibility to prevent accidents, then they are liable in case anything happens (Kohler, 2015). The same case applies to the manager when he does not perform his duties of taking a step of preventing cases reported to them by their supervisors.

Theories of Accident Causation

Accidents are defined as unplanned occurrences which bring about injuries or damage to property. There are several theories that explain accident causation. The first is the domino theory where it explains that 88% of all accidents are caused by the careless acts of individuals, 10% are caused by unsafe actions while the 2% are caused by acts of God (Tooma, Adams & Kwong, 2015). The second theory is the pure chance theory states that every worker has an equal chance of being involved in an accident. It is also believed that accidents are brought about by acts of God and nothing can be done to prevent them.

The third is the energy transfer theory which indicates that a worker is faced with an injury or equipment is damaged through a change of energy. It is also believed that for every change of energy, there is a source, a path and a receiver. Another theory is the proneness theory indicates that among a set of workers, there are those who are more likely to be involved in accidents. However, this theory has not yet been proven to be true and therefore, it is not generally accepted (Tooma, Adams & Kwong, 2015).


Hutzler, C., Paschke, M., Kruschinski, S., Henkler, F., Hahn, J., &Luch, A. (2014). Chemical

hazards present in liquids and vapors of electronic cigarettes. Archives of toxicology, 88(7), 1295-1308.

Khan, F. H. (2014).Chemical hazards of nanoparticles to human and environment (a

review).Oriental Journal of Chemistry, 29(4), 1399-1408.

Kohler, T. C. (2015). Health and safety in the workplace in the united states.IusLabor, (2), 4.

Tooma, M., Adams Jr, E. B., Kwong, J., & Fulbright, N. R. (2015, January). Global Personal

Liability: A Comparative Analysis of Laws and Approaches Around the World. In ASSE Professional Development Conference and Exposition.American Society of Safety Engineers.


Have the same topic and dont`t know what to write?
We can write a custom paper on any topic you need.

Request Removal

If you are the original author of this essay and no longer wish to have it published on the website, please click below to request its removal: