In 2009, Lehmann&Voss&Co., a chemical company in Hamburg, Germany, embarked on a collaboration with the chemistry department of the district school in Eidelstedt, Hamburg, to train young people in the safe handling of chemicals. Young workers in the plastic manufacturing industry may be exposed to dangerous substances. Therefore, it is important to integrate occupational safety and health (OSH) issues into education and training as early as possible. Negative outcomes of a poor work environment are known to be more likely to affect young workers, and risky work is also more likely to affect this group of workers. A teacher at the school contacted the company in the context of the lesson 'Nothing works without plastics' ('Ohne Kunststoffe geht es nicht'). The teacher developed, for pupils aged 14 to 17 years, a concept for OSH training based at the school and at the company's premises, in collaboration with Lehmann&Voss&Co. The pupils discuss OSH issues in small groups and receive special training in chemicals management and machinery. They then gain practical knowledge and skills by visiting the company’s production facilities and by working in the company's laboratories. They learn about production and the handling of chemicals, and how to handle chemicals safely.
Chemicals used in the plastic manufacture