Proposed code of practice for management of end-of-life lamps containing mercury: chapter 12

12. Worker Training

Employee training requirements for hazardous materials are typically prescribed by the authority that has jurisdiction, which in most cases is the provincial or territorial health and safety regulator. The regulations set out the minimum standard of training that the employers must provide to their employees and may require that the employers document and be able to provide proof of the training. In addition, there are employee training requirements under other regulations, such as provincial fire codes, the federal Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations and provincial codes for commercial vehicle operators.

Where there are no specific training requirements for handling end-of-life mercury lamps, workers at lamp management sites should receive training in conjunction with other employee training that gives proper instruction on how to receive, store and manage hazardous materials (e.g., Workplace Hazardous Material Information System). This level of training could be appropriate for municipal or retail staff at collection sites where various hazardous wastes are collected and not just mercury-containing end-of-life lamps.


Best Practices

Worker training
  • Workers should be trained on the risks posed by mercury, the need for proper handling, and how to handle mercury to prevent releases.
  • Workers should be properly trained on the cleanup of spilled or broken material. Information on cleanup procedures for broken fluorescent lamps is published on Health Canada’s website.Footnote15 The United States Environmental Protection Agency also provides information on how to clean up broken lamps containing mercury.Footnote16
  • Workers should be trained on the proper use of personal protection equipment.
  • Operators of the lamp processing equipment or machinery should receive instruction and training, as well as regular follow-up instruction and training, on:
    • operation of the equipment, maintenance of seals and sealing surfaces, replacement and safe handling of filters and other consumables;
    • proper use of personal protection equipment. Typical personal protection equipment includes mercury vapour and phosphor powder respirator, protective suit, eye protection, gloves, and boots; and
    • cleanup procedures and the use of mercury spill kit.

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