Occupational diseases and pandemic risk
Occupational diseases are work-related diseases recognized as resulting from exposure to occupational hazards, generally repeated exposure. In most cases, health effects appear after a long period of latency, e.g. asbestos-related diseases or cancers.
Pandemic risk can affect employees, their families, and society at large.
Prevention and mitigation
- Conservative approaches to risk identification, assessment and management help avoid a real risk of exposure, including when new hazards are revealed.
- Solvay monitors occupational disease standards worldwide and a strong industrial hygiene program focused on comprehensive assessments of compliance with occupational hygiene standards.
- Conservative exposure limits are defined and shared by Solvay’s worldwide toxicology team, supported by the internal “Solvay Acceptable Exposure Limit” Committee, which establishes Solvay Acceptable Exposure Limits (SAELs) for substances with no official occupational exposure limit (OEL) or an OEL considered insufficiently protective. High priority is given to nano-materials and technology, endocrine disruptors, SVHCs (Substances of Very High Concern) and health-related applications of Solvay products.
- All Solvay industrial sites and major administrative sites are required to ensure periodic medical monitoring of workers based on individual risk profiles and on Group recommendations, thereby helping to prevent the onset of occupational diseases and any other adverse health effects due to work.
- Internal industrial hygiene and occupational health IT tools are integrated at site level. With these tools, local teams benefit from easy and efficient management of – and access to – comprehensive hygiene assessments and medical surveillance data on their personnel. These tools help to identify and anticipate the occurrence of potential new occupational disease cases, improve the traceability of individual and collective exposure and medical data, and facilitate the daily work of Solvay physicians and hygienists.
- A global pandemic preparedness plan covering all plants and businesses, supported by a network of coordinators, has been developed. This plan can be reactivated to initiate a regional or local response.