There are now more resources available to help to reduce the risks of work accidents in Colorado and elsewhere for employees who work closely with fluorescent bulbs. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OHSA), these workers face serious risks for mercury exposure when working around broken bulbs.
Compact fluorescent bulbs are a lot better to use than incandescent bulbs. They’re much more efficient and more and more companies are making the switch to these energy-saving fluorescent.
Our Colorado workers’ compensation lawyers understand that the exposure to mercury can seriously harm a worker. When exposed, you run the risk of impairing your memory, mild tremors, loss in coordination, kidney problems, effects on your mood, skin irritation and more. Employers are required to make sure that all workers who work with these fluorescent bulbs are properly trained and have the necessary safety equipment on hand to prevent and to handle an accident should one happen.
Inside of one of these bulbs is a small amount of mercury. When these bulbs break, that mercury is released into the air. Some of the liquid can fall to the ground, but it will only continue to evaporate into the air down there.
It’s important for employers to be ready for any and all hazards that come with these hazards. It’s especially important that you workplace has cleanup plan in place where fluorescent bulbs are deliberately broken or crushed.
Reducing Exposure in the Workplace:
-Never use a broom to clean up broken fluorescent bulbs.
-You should never use an ordinary vacuum to clean up the mess. You should only be using a vacuum that is specifically designed to collect mercury. If not, you will only help to spread the mercury around the area.
-Contact with broken glass should be avoided at all costs.
-Make sure that workers are properly trained and educated about the details of working with these bulbs. Make sure they’re trained in all procedures for making sure that air filtration systems and seals are working properly.
-Workers should be provided with and trained in the usage of respiratory protection. This goes just the same for other personal protective equipment (PPE).