Monday, February 18, 2013

"The Nature of Chemical Hazards and Implications of GHS Applied to Industry" courses offered

Free "Nature of Chemical Hazards and Implications of GHS Applied to Industry" courses offered.

The use of chemical products to enhance and improve life is a worldwide practice.  Along with their benefits,
chemicals have potential adverse effects to the
environment and populations.  The goal of GHS is to identify the intrinsic hazards found in chemical 
substances and mixtures and to convey hazard
information to the workers who may come in contact with them.

Topics Covered:
        · Employee general safety and rights under
                the OSH Act
        · Employer responsibilities under the OSHA Act
        · Nature of Chemical Hazards and Worker Protection
        · Global Harmonization System (GHS)
               and Hazard Communication
        · Signal words, pictograms, SDS, and 
               labeling elements
        · Conducting A Job Hazard Analysis
        · Applying GHS to targeted industries
        · Training requirements

Register here for our "Nature of Chemical Hazards and Implications of GHS Applied to Industry" course. 

Hazard Communication: Workers must be trained by Dec. 1, 2013

OSHA's Hazard Communication Standard is now aligned with the United Nations' Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals. This update to the Hazard Communication Standard provides a common and coherent approach to classifying chemicals and communicating hazard information on labels and safety data sheets. The revised standard is improving the quality and consistency of hazard information in the workplace, making it safer for workers by providing easily understandable information on appropriate handling and safe use of hazardous chemicals.

The first deadline in the implementation phase is Dec. 1, 2013. By this date, employers must train workers on the new label elements and safety data sheet format. OSHA has prepared a number of materials that explain the new changes to the requirements of the HCS, including a list of frequently asked questions, QuickCards, fact sheets, a webinar that provides an overview of the rule and a downloadable PowerPoint presentation. These materials are available on OSHA’s Hazard Communications page.

Seasonal Flu: Webpage provides information on preventing spread of seasonal flu in the workplace

With an increasing number of severe flu cases this season across the United States, OSHA is urging employers to take precautions to protect workers. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that at least 47 states are reporting widespread geographic influenza ― 10 times higher in some cities than this time last year.

OSHA's Seasonal Flu webpage offers information about how to reduce the spread of the flu in workplaces. It provides information on the basic precautions, such as frequent hand washings and covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue, that should be used by employers and workers in all workplaces.

OSHA also provides additional precautions that should be used by employers and workers in healthcare settings, such as strictly following infection control practices and using gloves, gowns, and other protective equipment to reduce exposures, and encouraging sick workers to stay home.

Webpage offers help for employers and workers regarding winter storm hazards

OSHA's Winter Storms webpage provides information on protecting workers from hazards they may face during winter storm response and recovery operations. The webpage provides guidance on how employers and workers involved in cleanup and recovery operations can recognize snow storm-related hazards and the necessary steps that employers must take to keep workers safe while working in these conditions. The page includes guidance for workers clearing heavy snow in front of workplaces and from rooftops, workers encountering downed power lines or traveling on icy roads, and utility workers restoring power after winter storms.
The Winter Storms webpage includes links to guidance from OSHA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the American Red Cross, the National Weather Service, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Safety Council and other agencies and organizations.

Diesel Hazard Alert issued by OSHA, MSHA

OSHA and the Mine Safety and Health Administration are warning workers and their employers about hazardous exposure to diesel engine exhaust. Diesel engine exhaust, which contains a mixture of gases and small particles including diesel particulate matter, can create a health hazard when not properly controlled. The agencies have issued a hazard alert about workers' exposure to these materials. Diesel engines provide power to a variety of vehicles, heavy equipment and other machinery used in industries such as mining, transportation, construction, agriculture and maritime operations. The health effects of short-term exposure can be headache, dizziness, and irritation of the eye, nose and throat severe enough to distract or disable workers, while long-term exposure can increase the risk of cancer. The hazard alert offers information for employers and workers on engineering controls to mitigate exposure, as well as the OSHA and MSHA enforcement standards for a variety of industries. For more information, see the Hazard Alert.

Protecting recovery workers in the aftermath of Sandy

OSHA continues to monitor safety conditions for workers involved in the cleanup of Hurricane Sandy. Since the hurricane hit the East Coast two months ago, OSHA has conducted more than 4,400 briefings and other outreach activities, reaching nearly 61,000 workers and employers performing recovery work in Sandy-impacted areas.
OSHA staff is monitoring cleanup sites daily in New York and New Jersey to ensure that workers are protected from exposure to dangerous levels of environmental hazards such as carbon monoxide, asbestos and silica. The data and analysis are posted on OSHA’s Sandy sampling website. For more information, see the news release.
At a Dec. 17 forum in Wall Township, N.J., OSHA joined other agencies and organizations to discuss worker safety and ways to assist residents, business owners, unions, volunteers and advocacy groups. Robert Kulick, OSHA’s New York regional administrator, reminded attendees that employers are responsible for assessing their workplaces for hazards, training their workers, and providing their workers with all necessary controls ― such as personal protective equipment.

Guidance, fact sheets and other information are on OSHA's Hurricane Sandy webpage.