On 29 April 2014, ISOPA held a successful “One Step Ahead” (OSA) workshop in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania. The workshop, organised to explain and promote the safe use and handling of chemical raw materials, included over 30 participants from Tanzania, Kenya, Mozambique and Uganda representing various sectors of the polyurethane industry, including mattress producers.

Polyurethane manufacturing is a dynamic sector of the African economy, generating wealth and employment; however, ISOPA recognises that not all manufacturers are fully aware of the safety requirements needed to handle chemical raw materials. Since the first seminar in Kenya in 1998, the “One Step Ahead” programme has helped manufacturers be more responsible by educating them about simple procedures that ensure the safe use and handling of di-isocyanates in the work place.

The half a day session in Tanzania included ISOPA representatives Jörg Palmersheim (Secretary General), Bernhard Steinmetz (Bayer MaterialScience) and Zsolt Kardos (BorsodChem), and was received with enthusiasm from the participating polyurethane foam manufacturers and traders. The workshop was dynamic and interactive, and emphasised safety requirements for di-isocyanate use and handling, including the use of personnel protective equipment (PPE). Participants were provided training certificates in addition to visual aids, such as posters and pictograms, to be used in the factories, which explain the safe use and best practice procedures of di-isocyanates.

The workshop exemplified ISOPA's approach to product stewardship and is part of a series of sessions targeting the African continent. New sessions will be announced soon.

Watch the “One Step Ahead” video here.

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