Using 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. A hazardous substance can be any substance: solid, liquid or gas, that may cause harm to your health. Hazardous substances are classified based on their potential health effects, whether it is acute or chronic.
Occurrence of accident can be seriously damaging to the property or to its surroundings. Dizziness, nausea and itchiness are few of the immediate harm caused by hazard sunsatnces. Dermatitis and cancer are two of the most common long term effect of hazardous substances. Some people are also susceptible than others.
Almost every day, we are using hazardous substances and dangerous goods. Examples for these dangerous goods and hazardous substances are antiseptic, paint, and cleaning products. 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. Training, information and supervision must be provided by the company or employer. Treating first aid must be part of the training of every worker.
A material safety data sheet is providing detailed information about a hazardous substance or dangerous good. It gives more information than you will find on a label. Manufacturers and suppliers of hazardous substances and dangerous goods are required to give MSDS’s to their employer and customer. 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. When you purchase containers of hazardous substances they must be labelled. Risk assessment for each hazardous substance must be conducted in the workplace.
These safety data sheets are very important not just to the manufacturers and suppliers but even to the customers in maintaining safety and provide protection to the environment. As a requirement by the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations, these safety data sheets are necessary in every workplace. These sheets are 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.