Toronto, October 22, 2019 – Dr. Eva Iperifanou knows the value of workplace health. As the Dental Director of Unite Here Wellness & Dental Centre, she invests huge resources into ensuring her team of dentists, dental assistants and hygienists are working in healthy, well-managed environments at each of Unite Here’s three locations in Toronto and Mississauga.
“It’s a worthwhile investment that allows these professionals to focus on providing high-quality patient care”, she says.
“After reading a book on the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, I felt a profound sense of responsibility for the safety of our personnel; in the sense that I wanted them to be well educated in the possible risks associated with their work. So often, products that we think might be hazardous to our health are not, and vice versa. Education and awareness is the key” said Dr. Iperifanou, as she described her search for a responsible and effective solution for managing hazardous materials at Unite Here and her relief at finding SDS RiskAssist™ from Rillea Technologies Inc. “As a not-for-profit, we’re very fortunate to have very little turnover of staff. I like to think a big part of that is, because they feel safe, respected and cared for.”
Benefits and Challenges of Chemicals in Dental Offices
Dental offices use a wide variety of chemicals for important activities such as sterilizing, cleaning, creating molds, x-ray developing, filling, bonding and etching teeth and helping manage patient anxiety and pain. While these products present very little risk of harm to the average person who may visit a dentist twice per year, exposure to the more hazardous products on a daily basis can be a different matter. This is why it is important for dental clinics to have a good chemical management program in place.
When she first spoke with Rillea Technologies’ CEO Lisa Hallsworth, Dr. Iperifanou was finding her chemicals management activities herculean! Trying to manage the WHMIS documents for over 500 products across three locations and meet the required regulatory reporting was keeping her up at night.
With SDS RiskAssist™, Rillea’s web-based chemicals management platform, Dr. Iperifanou now knows all the common and single-use products being used at each location and the hazards associated with each product, and she has assigned safe work instructions to every product. Through the SDS RiskAssist™ web app, this information is now available to every employee at any time of the day or night. In addition, Dr. Iperifanou annually checks product inventory and audits her team’s knowledge of safe chemical handling on a regular basis.
Advancing the UN SDGs
Unite Here Wellness & Dental Centre is a great example of an employer who is using risk-based decision-making to responsibly manage chemicals. In recognition for their diligence, Rillea Technologies founders Lisa and Rob Hallsworth of presented the Unite Here Wellness & Dental team with United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 2030 Pins.
The 17 Sustainable Development Goals, represented by the colours on the pin, were developed in 2015 by global leaders as a blueprint towards a sustainable planet by 2030.
The Unite Here Wellness & Dental Centre’s efforts are contributing to Goal 3 – Good Health & Well-Being, Goal 6 – Clean Water & Sanitation, and Goal 12 – Responsible Consumption & Production. “Most small- and medium-sized businesses don’t have the resources to develop strategies to address global issues like poverty and climate change, but they’re probably already doing more than they might think. The SDG lapel pins are a nice way to acknowledge the great work our clients are doing to help make the world a better place,” said Lisa Hallsworth. “Everybody has a part to play in advancing SDG2030, and any step toward achieving any one of the sustainability goals is a step in the right direction.”
Rillea Technologies is an Ontario, Canada based company providing cloud solutions for organizations interested in proactive chemicals management. Its platform, SDS RiskAssist™, digitizes WHMIS 2015 safety data sheets and reorganizes the data the way chemical safety experts would. The platform instantly prioritizes chemical hazards so that busy safety managers can assess and build clear 1-page summaries for managing high and medium-risk chemicals. Employees can access these work instructions via mobile or desktop devices as often as needed, from anywhere in the world. SDS RiskAssist™ has been the recipient of the 2018 and 2019 Readers’ Choice Awards by Canadian Occupational Safety Magazine.