Advisors to Management
|~ Hazard Communications ~|
* Safety Training *
The hazard communication standard has been around for many years and yet violations of this standard are in the "top ten list" of citations issued by OSHA. As an employee you need to know what types of chemicals you are using and what hazards are associated with them. The purpose of the standard is to ensure that all chemicals are evaluated, and that all information concerning their hazards is transmitted to your employer and to you. This transmittal of information is to be accomplished by means of comprehensive hazard communication programs, which include labeling and other forms of warning, employee training, and material safety data sheets (MSDS).
Employers must be sure that labels on incoming containers of hazardous chemicals are not removed or defaced. They are also required to maintain copies of all MSDS received with these incoming shipments, and they must obtain MSDS for all hazardous materials for which sheets are not provided. These MSDS"s must be kept readily assessable during each work shift for your review. Furthermore, employers must provide training on the requirements of the standard and the location of the written hazard communication program. They must record any operation on the jobsite where hazardous chemicals are present, including their physical and health hazards along with protective measures.
Your best information concerning hazardous chemicals in the workplace is the Material Safety Data Sheet. It gives you the trade name, plus the manufacturer"s name, address, and emergency telephone number. It also includes the hazardous ingredients and components, the chemical ID, the OSHA PEL (Personal Exposure Limit) and TLV (Threshold Limit Value). You will also find chemical and physical characteristics like boiling point, vapor pressure, flash point, and information on flammability, reactivity, and explosion hazards. Finally the MSDS provides health hazard information, emergency and first aid treatments, and specific precautions for safe handling and use.
Remember, you must use this blue print (the MSDS) to ensure your safety and the safety of those that work around you. Read it carefully and follow all the manufacturer's recommendations. If you have any questions, ask your supervisor.
Chemicals must Be Treated with Respect!
You Control the Risks Always Check the MSDS.
* M-S-D-S Spells Safety *
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Copyright © 2001 by David E. Miller