Every worksite, which uses any chemicals, must:
Review the chemicals, which you use on a regular basis and ensure that you are familiar with the associated hazards and personal protection measures. Be familiar with the Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) and the assessments for the safe use of chemicals.
Follow all instructions related to safe use and storage of chemicals.
Understand spill cleanup procedures and know where spill response equipment is stored.
Prior to using hazardous chemicals substances, instructions for their use and precautions to be taken must be fully understood and when applicable, identified on the Permit to Work.
There are eight different symbols, if you work with hazardous materials, you need to know these symbols and what they stand for:
CLASS A – COMPRESSED GAS
A material (cylinder) with this symbol can explode and take off like a rocket!
Example: Acetylene (in torches)
CLASS B – FLAMMABLE AND COMBUSTILE MATERIAL
A material with this symbol can burst into flame very suddenly.
CLASS C – OXIDIZING MATERIAL
A material with this symbol will feed any fire, making it much hotter and larger.
Example: Contents of an oxygen tank.
CLASS D1 – MATERIALS CAUSING IMMEDIATE AND EFFECTS
A material with this symbol will cause acute and serious poisoning.
Example: Carbon monoxide (in car exhaust).
CLASS D2 – MATERIALS CAUSING OTHER TOXIC EFFECTS
A material with this symbol can cause slow poisoning or other illness.
CLASS E – CORROSIVE MATERIAL
A material with this symbol can seriously harm your eyes and burn your skin or lungs.
Example: Ammonia Gas (in many cleaning products).
CLASS F – DANGEROUS REACTIVE MATERIAL
A material with this symbol may explode if mixed with other chemicals or dropped.
Warning labels. All hazardous materials have a warning label from the supplier.
A supplier label must contain the following:
Product identifier (name of product)
Supplier identifier (name and address of supplier)
A statement that an MSDS for this material is available.
Hazard symbols to show the dangers associated with the material.
Risk phrases (words that describe the hazard or hazards of the material)
Precautionary measures (how to work with the product safely),
First aid measures (what to do in an emergency)
Have all text in English and French
The workplace label must contain:
A product identifier – the common name.
Safe handling instructions.
A statement to indicate that a Material Safety Data Sheet is available
Flammable – do not use open flame or processes that generate sparks.
Read the material safety data before using this compound.
Refer to ‘COSHH’: a brief guide to the Regulations (UK).
- ERGONOMICH HAZARDS
Work related muscle skeletal disorders develop when the same muscles are used over and over again, usually while applying force and with little recovery time away from the task.
They also develop when workers have to maintain a fixed position while working. Causing injury to muscles, bones, blood vessels, tendons, nerves and other soft tissues.
Strain injuries such as carpal tunnel or tennis elbow.
Repetitive sprain or strain injury.
Prolonged strain results in pain and injury, which may cause impairment and disability.
- BIOLOGICAL HAZARDS
Substances considered to be biological hazards are any micro-organism, cell culture, or human endoparasite, whether or not genetically modified, which may cause infection, allergy, toxicity or otherwise create hazard to human health.
They are classified into hazard groups as follows:
Unlikely to cause human disease.
Can cause human disease and may be a hazard to employees. Unlikely to spread to the community and there is an effective prophylaxis or treatment available.
Can cause severe human disease and may be a serious hazard to employees. May spread to the community, but there is an effective prophylaxis or treatment available.
Causes severe human disease and is serious hazard to employees. Is likely to spread to the community and there is no effective prophylaxis or treatment available.
- WORK RELATED UPPER LIMB DISORDERS (WRULD)
WRULD, sometimes known as repetitive strain injury are problems with the shoulder and arm, including the forearm, elbow, wrist, hand and fingers and can include neck pain. Any type of work that involves a worker using their arms to carry out tasks can lead to WRULDs, although they are frequently associated with computer use and assembly work. Symptoms include tendencies, aches and pain, stiffness, weakness, tingling, numbness, cramp and swelling.
Risks factor include:
Repeating an action.
Uncomfortable working position.
Using a lot of force.
Carrying out a task for a long period of time.
Poor working environment.
Psychosocial issues (lack of control or status)