Self-inspection tool Fujifilm
Setting and problem
Measuring the dangers of working with hazardous substances in your company is very important. Yet, to measure all dangers that come from working with certain substances is an expensive and time consuming process. Fujifilm has been trying to decrease the dangers of working with hazardous substances by gaining insight in their work processes and by applying measurements step by step.
Fujifilm works with a self-inspection tool which established priorities regarding the measurements that should be done when working with hazardous substances. The tool consists of multiple steps. First of all, they started by getting the inventory up to date, which meant finding out which substances had become redundant. The tool suggests that measurements should be done at places with the highest risk. At first this meant they should do at least 900 in their company, with 15 substances on 60 location. To narrow it down, Fujifilm clustered similar situations, and 300 measurements remained. Subsequently they only measured the ‘worst-case-scenario’ places. For many of the remaining substances the limit-values had to be determined, for which they hired an external toxicologist.. First, the substances were registered to evaluate the dangers. Then, the risks were evaluated. The substances were ordered in how dangerous they are, if it is carcinogenic, how many employees are exposed to it, etc. The next step is the evaluation of the measures. Should there be measures, if so, which, and, are there substitutions for the substances available. The last step is to maintain the safer use of the hazardous substances.
Fujifilm is now aware of the hazardous substances they work with, and how hazardous they are exactly. Furthermore, this new process supports the mentality-change that was needed, and it helps employees to get a better understanding about the dangers and measures taken to minimize the risks. With the help of the measurements it is easier to estimate dangers and take the correct measures when new substances are being used. Lastly, this process gave a good view on how different workplaces work with the substances. They found that the concentrations of the same substances were higher in one workplace than in the other. This was the result of a difference in for example whether employees rolled the substance-bag with care as was prescribed, or if they would strike the bag to get everything out, causing harm for the employee and direct colleagues.