Stuart Platt– Friday 1st July 2016
Part of my role here at SOS – Switched Onto Safety is to conduct Health, Safety, Quality and Environment audits and inspections for a wide variety of clients and organisations. Another role is to conduct chemical inventories and management practices associated with hazardous substances. I find I have a good understanding of risk management practices (with regards to chemicals) due to my back ground of working in the field as an X-construction worker and my many years working in project management companies. A recent review of some of these Audits and Inspections with regards to chemical management and how they are being managed onsite have identified a number of trends which I thought I would share. These trends appear to be a regular occurrence across all types and sizes of companies;
- Safety data sheets (SDS); Either not available or out of date.
- Hazardous substances risk assessments; Quite a bit of the time, these risk assessments have not been conducted at all! All hazards must be assessed for their risk.
- Spill response preparedness; Spill kits are often empty, used as a bin or not stacked right (easy access to chemical resistant neoprene gloves).
- Incompatibility issues; Class 2 (flammable gasses) and class 3 (Flammable liquids) stored together etc.
- Storage practices; Chemical cabinets stored in unventilated areas i.e. sea containers or in unmarked cupboards.
All these items are easily fixed if you have a system in place to manage the chemicals you use and/or store. If you think you have some issues with chemical compliance and are not too sure what to do, drop us a line.
So just ask yourself; when was the last time you reviewed your management practices around chemicals?
- Are all your SDS’s up to date?
- Has all your hazardous substance been assessed for the risks?
- Are you prepared for a spill?
- Are your chemicals being stored correctly?
Note: For current Chemwatch clients, we do have an upcoming Chemwatch Public Training Session which is to be conducted on the 12th July 2016, at the North Metropolitan Tafe in East Perth.
Or if you would like to know more about Chemwatch contact us to find out the different online solutions Chemwatch has to offer, ranging from basic needs to specific needs and advanced requirements. All can be customised to suit a small business up to large organisations.