4 Types of Emergency Safety Showers

An emergency safety shower is a must-have piece of kit for the laboratory or other work environment that has the potential to put workers at risk of hazardous substances. They are used in addition to normal safety precautions, such as face shields and goggles. In the laboratory there is always the risk of chemical exposure due to knocked or dropped containers.

The best course of action to take to prevent serious injury is to use the emergency safety shower for on-the-spot decontamination. This treatment is most effective if used within the 10 to 15 seconds of the initial exposure. Plus, they can also be used as a useful tool to flush contaminants off clothing or effectively put out clothing fires.

Here are a few of the popular types of emergency safety showers:

Ceiling shower

The ceiling shower is a permanent fixture and is typically located in an overhead position and easily activated using a lever or chain. It is built to rapidly direct a large volume of water directly on a person’s head and body after coming into contact with a harmful substance.

Floor mounted

The floor-mounted unit is designed to give all-round treatment with the ability to not only act as a safety shower, but also as a drench hose and eye-wash. This type of system is particularly useful in the laboratory that works with a wide range of hazardous substances.

Deck mounted

The deck mounted unit is built to conveniently attach to a lab beach and operates by squeezing a handle to active the flow of water. This is one of the most practical choices for spot-washing.

Drench hoses

The drench hoses is a further choice for spot-washing, but gives more flexibility compared to the deck mounted units. The hose is easy to direct at the person that is unconscious or unable to stand or even to quick wash beneath clothing before it can be removed. Also, with the correct pressure, the drench hoses can also function as an eye/face washing unit.

Using eye-wash stations

In addition to the shower units to drench the head and body in general, there are also the stand-along eye-wash stations. It isn’t practical to use the standard emergency safety shower to flush the eyes because of the high pressure, which could easily cause damage to the eyes. Many of the eye-wash units direct a constant flow of water and leave the hands free to help pin the eyelids open.

The Benefit of Labelling and Classification for Chemical Safety

Exposure to chemicals can affect many people within the society. We deal with different types of chemical products throughout the day. Individuals working in the laboratory have the higher risk. Chemical effects do not even leave the homemakers cooking in the kitchen. The chemicals produced at factory outlet spreads while carrying through the transportation system. Kids going to school or traveling with parents in the road can get affected by such chemicals. This is possible if proper precaution is not taken while handling or transporting the chemicals. The authorities dealing with the safety of environment are working to prevent the effect.

Attempts for chemical safety –

Many programs are conducted to teach people to stay away from chemicals. They should stay little more cautious. Keeping kids away from such chemical is another important attempt. GHS SDS is nothing but the globally harmonized system. The authority has many techniques to manage such risks. The internationally harmonized approach is economically beneficial for you. Above all, you get protection from chemical effects. The authority deals with labeling and classification of such chemicals. Canada is the country to conduct this program regularly. Today, many countries have become very cautious about the fact. This program is conducted almost in all the countries.

Why is harmonized system introduced? –

We are all trying to avoid chemicals in everything we do. But, some chemicals are really a necessity. You cannot avoid them totally. The global trade of chemicals is contributing a good amount in our country’s national income. If you take some precautions, avoiding the side effects of such chemicals will be easy. GHS SDS communicates the hazards of such chemicals. Not all ratio of chemical is harmful. The authority is aware of the ratio beyond which the combination of the chemical can be life threatening. Thus, the system of classification and labeling of chemicals are introduced. You must go through that data sheet very well.

Facts about increase in cost –
Different countries are working on several methods to harmonize the chemical effect. The system of labeling and classification of each country is also quite different. Each system becomes quite expensive. Government too has to bear a huge cost. The chemical bearing industries have to export it to the other countries. Also, there is a question about the safety of the workers. People present in the system of transportation also have a danger of chemical combustion. Thus, from all corners, there are issues with the transportation of these chemicals.

The Globally harmonized system works on the chemicals that can prove to be hazardous. This can be applied to the effect of chemicals in the workplace. You can also go ahead with the labeling of chemicals that are used in pharma companies. The chemicals are also present in consumer products. As a result, labeling must be done even there and the data sheet for transport worker is the must.

6 Types of Crowd Control Barriers

Any large gathering at festivals, special religious days, or protests can benefit from having the proper crowd control barriers. They are very effective at handling the crowds and significantly increase the level of safety. There are many different barriers with each having a different use and type of control purpose.

Here are a few of the most popular types of crowd control barriers:

Stanchion Barrier

A simple form of crowd control is the stanchion barrier. This consists of upright posts and thick ropes which are very easy to set up. This type of control method is practical for the red-carpet and business-type events. They are well made and efficient, and the posts and ropes can be color coded to perfectly match the hosted event.

Retractable

The retractable barriers are a short-term solution to crowd control and are easily installed in a hurry. This barrier has multiple poles that are connected together using a strong belt like material. It is a practical choice for the business or temporary event that doesn’t normally need a more permanent barrier in place. Plus, it is a useful option to help contain the quite large gathering of people.

Steel

The most robust type of barrier is those manufactured in steel. They are very heavy and multiple pieces interlock together to provide a solid crowd control option. A great benefit of this type of interlocking fence is the low risk of falling over and ability to hold back the larger gatherings. This barrier is a practical choice for the events that have hundreds or thousands of people attending.

Temporary fencing

The temporary fencing is a lightweight option and mostly made in a hard-wearing plastic material. This type of barrier is easily color-coded to match the venue or theme of the occasion. This barrier is really easy to set up and taken down and hauled away when not in use.

Rail systems

The rail systems are a practical choice to direct crowds or queues in lines for the retail outlet. Most of the rail systems rely on horizontal tubing to connect each of the rails. The rails come in many different materials with steel and plastic the most popular choices.

Collapsible

The collapsible barrier is a versatile option and comes in a wide range of sizes and gives complete ease in setting up and storing. They are mostly used to block areas like doorways that have been declared as off-limits. The barrier is designed to easily expand to match the desired width. This type of barrier is a popular choice for stores or small venues.

Safety Data Sheets From Emergency Response and Fire Fighter Perspective

There is an inherent risk present in chemicals, especially those that are classified as hazardous. There is a risk of toxicity, fire, and explosion. Even with best practices, one must be prepared for worst case scenarios where such chemicals may spill, come into contact with the skin of handlers, be inhaled or ingested by them or cause fires or contaminate the soil. In all such cases, emergency responders and firefighters swing into action in order to contain such hazards.

These emergency responders like doctors, nurses, and firefighters rely on lifesaving information that is contained in the Safety Data Sheets and labels. It could mean the difference between life and death. Of course, the primary responsibility is to the persons who are handling the chemicals to be fully informed and act fast to contain the damage but there are instances when emergency response by specialists may be required as happens in the case of explosions and fires as well as damage by corrosive and toxic chemicals. In some cases such as spills of reactive chemicals only trained responder must handle the situation.

How well the SDS is prepared and the clarity of labeling contributes to how fast and correctly the emergency responders can take the right action in such situations and save lives as well as property not to speak of minimizing the impact on the environment. The hardest part for such emergency responder is to determine whether it is a simple or complex spill or situation and this can be resolved if the labels and SDS carry the right information in the appropriate columns. GHS SDS are structured to convey this information. It is up to the manufacturer/distributor/importer to ensure that such information is presented in a succinct fashion to allow emergency responder to take the right decision quickly and effectively.

The sections that are most interests to responder pertain to hazardous identification of a product that covers GHS classification, label elements including graphical symbols and text and other information. The other section is first aid measures that describe an action to be taken according to various exposure types such as inhalation, ingestion, contact and so on and the most important symptoms as well as immediate medical attention required in such cases. The other section of interest is fire-fighting measures that cover the use of appropriate extinguishing media and special hazards of the chemical and protective equipment to be used. Handling and storage sections are just as important as accidental release measures and exposure controls.

It is not surprising that quite a few manufacturers give these sections only cursory importance when they could prove to be of critical importance and it is not surprising that firefighters are not satisfied with the lack of detailed information in SDS and labels. Engaging the right company to take care of updating MSDS to SDS or preparation of SDS with emphasis on these safety precautions and information for emergency responder is vitally important. It could save lives and property.

Some Aspects of GHS Safety Data Sheets

Nations across the world are adopting the UN recommended Globally Harmonized System of classification and labeling of chemicals with the purpose of achieving several objectives.

One objective is a protection of the health of workers involved in the chain of processing, storage, handling and transportation of chemicals. Another is to safeguard the environment. A unified system of classification will facilitate trade across borders and properly identify chemicals and their hazard levels. Some countries did not have in place a system of classification while others that did had various methods of classification and categorization that led to confusion and risky situations. Development of the GHS safety data sheets was based on an extensive study that sought to address disparities and bring about uniformity while ensuring that level of protection did not reduce. The classification process takes into consideration the intrinsically hazardous properties of single chemicals and their formulation as well as reactivity with air, water and other chemicals besides impact when released into the environment. As such the GHS SDS were developed in a structured way with each section easily referred to by those involved in the chain such as processing, storage, and transportation in addition to end users. Over the years GHS underwent various revisions and countries accepted one or the other besides introducing their own norms. One of the quirks of the SDS is that disclosure of hazard must be made in full but without compromising confidential information of proprietary formulations. A key feature is that of training employees in the use of SDS and appropriate procedures in relation to the chemicals they handle and this training included interpretation of the safety data sheets and the safety labels.

Then there are further recommendations on implementation. For instance, an importer-distributor may simply receive sealed containers of chemicals with GHS labels. It is their duty to ensure that the labels remain intact. If a manufacturer receives a sealed container and it is subsequently opened, he has to maintain the data sheet and make it readily available to employees handling the chemicals and further label secondary containers. As such the method of application of hazard communication part, contained in the label, varies according to product category and the stage in its use cycle.

There are surprising exceptions and anomalies too that those involved in the handling of hazardous chemicals should know. GHS does not specify a uniform test method but relies on tests conducted by internationally accepted test agencies such as OECD or relies on WHO data in regards to health and environmental hazards. In the case of physical hazards such as flammability and explosive, one may refer to UNSCETDG tests. GHS is based on available data but as new data comes to light the system of classification could change and manufacturers or distributors must keep abreast with these changes. Some chemicals may not need to be labeled and these exceptions apply to pesticides, fungicides and rodenticide or chemicals that fall under special Acts.

As can be seen, GHS has been instrumental in bringing about uniformity in classification and categorization of chemicals but it is vastly complex with exceptions and anomalies. It needs experts to prepare GHS SDS and labels that are fully compliant yet take care of safeguarding proprietary formulations while taking care of anomalies and exceptions.

5 Types of Materials to Store in Your Flammable Storage Cabinet

Easily ignited materials like gases, liquids and solids must be stored carefully. The flammable storage cabinets are essential to protect the workspace and workers. Also, the right flame proof material should be used to match the specific type of substance that is being stored. Here are a few of the most common types of flammable storage items:

Liquids

Flammable liquids are known to automatically ignite in the event of reaching a certain temperature. It is practical to store these liquids in an environment that is kept below a temperature of 37.8° C (100° F). If the liquids are left to reach a higher temperature, there is a risk of the material giving off a vapor that can lead to burning. The different liquids include alcohols, paint thinners, paints and petrol.

Gases

The flammable gas is likely to burn when combined with air or a similar oxidant and when in contact with an ignition source. This type of substance can be extremely hazardous even when safely locked in a proper cabinet. Even a minimal amount of escaping gas can lead to an explosion or fire in favorable conditions. Common forms of flammable gases include methane, hydrogen sulfide, carbon monoxide, acetylene and propane.

Explosive chemicals

Chemicals have the potential to explore as a result of shock, friction or heat. There are even touch sensitive chemicals that will activate even when its storage container is touched or brushed against. Also, there is more risk with the older chemical stock which can start to degrade over time. Specifically manufactured or naturally occurring chemicals include nitoso, haloamine, oxonides, azides and acetylides.

Oxidizing chemicals

Certain chemicals are known to unexpectedly evolve oxygen with slight heating or even at room temperature. This build up of oxygen can lead to a fire and cause damage to the local surroundings. To minimize the risk of an accident with oxidizing chemicals, a secure and purpose-built cabinet must be used. Also, there is the risk of chemicals mixing if stored together, so a separate space is required for each type of chemical. Common types of oxidizing chemicals include bleach, concentrated Nitric acid, and hydrogen peroxide.

Solids

There are plenty of solids that are highly dangerous. Picrate salt is a flammable solid and common in laboratories, dye manufacturing and used to create explosives. It only needs a small amount of friction, shock or heat to react. Also, cellulose nitrate easily catches fire and a popular choice for photographic negatives and old film.

Workplace Safety: Get Employees Involved

For some employers’ safety is the most important aspect of their business, a healthy investment which their company strives to promote throughout the workplace. Yet others see safety as code for an over burdensome waste of time, money, and effort. For businesses struggling with safety culture improvement, here are a few tips to raise and increase awareness.

Increase the importance and awareness of the benefits of safety in the work place. Employees may be hesitant to embrace safety if they feel that it does not apply to them. It is important that employees understand that even if they are not working on machines or climbing to dangerous heights, that they are still at risk of injury. Include information and statistics on real life safety topics such as food preparation, or slip and falls in rest rooms or walking down a hallway. Topics like these will show employees that there are risks involved with every job! Videos of real workplace safety hazards and community safety programs can help get the point across. Encourage employees to include their family members in the safety message. Injuries can affect people at home or at work.

Another great way to involve employees in the safety environment and concern of the business is by creating a new safety committee/board, or inviting them to join your existing safety committee/board or if no committee /board exist, to have a monthly meeting with the employer to discuss the safety aspect. Make sure management allows employees to participate during work time. Employees may not want to take their free time to discuss this matter and it confirms that the employer is respectful of the employees’ time. A safety meeting should have representatives from all levels of the organization, from management to laborers. This gives employees the opportunity to express any concerns they may have along with efforts to ensure those issues are addressed with everyone’s impute. Sometimes employees may provide options that the employer can utilize and this will buster good will between all parties. The committee can also create goals for safety compliance, including rewarding employees for participating or making safety improvements.

Since safety does not remain of the minds of employee every second, a simple way to keep safety in the minds of your employees is to include a reminder in their paycheck envelopes, send emails, text messages or safety news update boards in employee areas. Providing and sharing safety tips, statistics, and real-life stories about other companies like your own are just a few examples of what can be included. Ask your employees for suggestions or ideas on what they would like to learn more about. Additional, host safety training seminars or meeting at the workplace. These meeting should take place during work hours. This will keep safely a little more on the minds of the employee and provide safety updates.

The focus of the committee and the employer encouragement to the employee should be to help the employer identify the hazard and correct it. Encourage employees to look for hazards in the workplace and report them to the appropriate personnel to correct the problem! Make workplace safety a habit not a hassle.