How Can Exposures Be Prevented?

Employers are responsible for training and protecting their workers. Employees are responsible for learning about the hazards in their workplace, using personal protective equipment, and following proper work practices. Since little is known about reproductive hazards in the workplace, workers should also take the following steps to ensure their own safety:

  • Store chemicals in sealed containers when they are not in use.
  • Wash hands after contact with hazardous substances and before eating, drinking, or smoking.
  • Avoid skin contact with chemicals.
  • If chemicals contact the skin, follow the directions for washing in the material safety data sheet (MSDS). Employers are required to have copies of MSDSs for all hazardous materials used in their workplaces and to provide them to workers upon request.
  • Review all MSDSs to become familiar with any reproductive hazards used in your workplace. If you are concerned about reproductive hazards in the workplace, consult your doctor or health care provider.
  • Participate in all safety and health education, training, and monitoring programs offered by your employer.
  • Learn about proper work practices and engineering controls (such as improved ventilation).
  • Use personal protective equipment (gloves, respirators, and personal protective clothing) to reduce exposures to workplace hazards.
  • Follow your employer's safety and health work practices and procedures to prevent exposures to reproductive hazards.
  • Prevent home contamination with the following steps:
  • — Change out of contaminated clothing and wash with soap and water before going home.
  • — Store street clothes in a separate area of the workplace to prevent contamination.
  • — Wash work clothing separately from other laundry (at work if possible).
  • — Avoid bringing contaminated clothing or other objects home. If work clothes must be brought home, transport them in a sealed plastic bag.