New Braunfels, TX, September 13, 2023
While many of us have completed the required hazard communication training, how many of us are taking time to read through our SDSs, or Safety Data Sheets posted around the facilities? To really study our hazardous substances and learn about chemical interactions and what employees need to know and what to avoid, we should get in the habit of researching new chemicals on the jobsite. For example, many of us understand the dangers of mixing chlorine and ammonia and the toxic vapor it creates, but what about other chemical interactions? What should we be aware of that is used every day? To help understand chemical hazards better, we are going to break it down into three different categories or topics:
First, we are going to identify why hazard communication training is important.
Next, we are going to focus on what is a Safety Data Sheet.
Last, we are going to discuss proper container labeling.
WHY DOES EVERYONE NEEDS HAZCOM?
Chemical products such as sealants, adhesives, glues, paints, mineral oil, and cement-based products are used every day on construction sites. However, if these chemical products are not used safely on a job site, then you could be at risk. The potential of chemical products to cause harm depends on a number of factors including how dangerous they may be and how long or how often you are exposed to them. Exposure to chemicals can result in various short and long-term health defects such as drowsiness, dizziness, dermatitis, burns, eye damage, respiratory disease, cancer, reproductive defects, liver or even kidney disease. Needless to say, we have to take this topic seriously.
WHAT IS A SAFETY DATA SHEET?
Safety data sheets or SDS are intended to provide specific information about a substance or mixture used in our workplace. The SDS communicates the hazards associated with the chemical products that exist in some of the items which we may come into contact with while on the job. The SDS includes information such as the properties of each chemical, physical health, and environmental health hazards of the product in which is being used and or stored. The SDS also includes protective measures like PPE, safety precautions for handling, storing, and transporting of the chemicals. If you need this information at your workplace, simply go to www.3eonline.com to access your SDS on your product. The Ontivity resource is simple to navigate, just enter the product name and manufacturer or number in the drop-down tabs and it will continue to walk you through the process until you get to the desired SDS.
WHAT IS REQUIRED WHEN LABELING A CONTAINER?
All “Hazardous Chemical” containers must be labeled for the health and safety of employees and emergency responders. Although OSHA regulations require labeling only those containers with hazardous chemicals, Ontivity recommends all non-hazardous chemical containers be labeled with the product identity in order to minimize confusion. In the event there is a chemical with no OSHA hazard, then a label will make that fact obvious. Often, jobs require transferring chemicals from the original labeled container into a secondary container like a gas can. Portable containers must comply with the labeling requirements. If you mix up an unlabeled salt or sugar container in the kitchen, you might ruin dinner. On the jobsite, you might ruin someone’s life.
If you would like more information on this topic or any other safety-related topic, please reach out to the Ontivity safety team at email@example.com, and we will get you taken care of.