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Archivos de Prevención de Riesgos Laborales

versión On-line ISSN 1578-2549


MARTI FERNANDEZ, Francesc et al. Comprenhension of hazard pictograms of chemical products among cleaning workers. Arch Prev Riesgos Labor [online]. 2015, vol.18, n.2, pp.66-71. ISSN 1578-2549.

Objective: To assess the comprehension among cleaning workers of the hazard pictograms as defined by the Globally Harmonized System (GHS) of the United Nations, concerning the classification, labeling and packaging of substances and mixtures. Methods: A sample of 118 workers was surveyed on their perception of the GHS hazard pictograms. Comprehensibility was measured by the percentage of correct answers and the degree to which they reflected International Organization for Standardization and American National Standards Institute standards for minimum level of comprehension. The influence of different variables to predict comprehension capacity was assessed using a logistic regression model. Results: Three groups of pictograms could be distinguished which were statistically differentiated by their comprehensibility. Pictograms reflecting "acute toxicity" and "flammable", were described correctly by 94% and 95% of the surveyed population, respectively. For pictograms reflecting "systemic toxicity", "corrosive", "warning", "environment" and "explosive" the frequency of correct answers ranged from 48% to 64%, whereas those for pictograms "oxidizing" and "compressed gas" were interpreted correctly by only 7% of respondents. Prognostic factors for poor comprehension included: not being familiar with the pictograms, not having received training on safe use of chemical products, being an immigrant and being 54 years of age or older. Conclusions: Only two pictograms exceeded minimum standards for comprehension. Training, a tool proven to be effective to improve the correct interpretation of danger symbols, should be encouraged, especially in those groups with greater comprehension difficulties.

Palabras clave : Workplace; product labeling; hazardous substances; comprehension.

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