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Managing Hazardous Substances
You can tell a good is dangerous if it is corrosive, flammable, explosive, combustible, toxic, oxidizing or reactive in water. They must be identified in the workplace through various coloured ‘diamond’ symbols. These substances cause harm to people can be solid, liquid or gas. Substances can cause harm in an immediate or long term effect.
Occurrence of accident can be seriously damaging to the property or to its surroundings. These harm can be considered chronic if someone feels dizzy, feeling nausea and has irritating eyes or skin. Also, it can happen gradually over years, like dermatitis or cancer. Some people can be more vulnerable than others.
We have used hazardous substances and dangerous goods almost every day. It may be antiseptic for a cut, the paints for the walls, or even a cleaning product for the bathroom. Mishandling of these substances can make you very sick. It is the work of the company to provide safety for their workers especially in handling hazardous substances and dangerous goods. They must provide information, training and supervision. First aid treatment for hazardous substances and dangerous goods should be part of the training to the workers.
The material safety data sheet provides detailed information about the dangerous substances and dangerous goods. It provides information on the substances that is not found in labels. As a requirement, the manufacturers and suppliers of hazardous substances and dangerous goods should provide MSDS’s to their customers and employers. These hazardous substances and dangerous goods should be handled through the MSDS’s provided by the manufacturers and suppliers. Any instruction provided in the MSDS and the procedures implemented in the workplace must be strictly followed.
Upon receiving a MSDS it must keep it in a register, and even keep a copy close to where the substance is being used to allow workers who may be exposed to refer to it easily. Purchasing containers for hazardous substances must be labelled correctly. Every company is required to conduct a risk assessment for each of the hazardous substances available.
The safety data sheets management could be a great help both to the suppliers and customers. As a requirement by the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations, these safety data sheets are necessary in every workplace. This information is not an assessment. These sheets could help you in identifying the risk underlying in these substances. The information on the safety data sheets is important, especially the boiling point and the classification of the hazardous substances or dangerous goods. Therefore, a company must provide MSDS in their workplace.