Handling of Hazardous Substances
Any goods can be dangerous because it can be corrosive, flammable, explosive, combustible, toxic or even water-reactive. They must be identified in the workplace through various coloured ‘diamond’ symbols. Hazard substances can be in a form of solid, liquid or gas. Hazardous substances can be acute or chronic.
An accident which involves dangerous goods could seriously damage any property or even the environment. These harm can be considered chronic if someone feels dizzy, feeling nausea and has irritating eyes or skin. Also, it can happen gradually over years, like dermatitis or cancer. Some people can be more vulnerable than others.
Almost every day, we are using hazardous substances and dangerous goods. Antiseptic for cut, paints for the walls and cleaning products are few of the goods we are using every day. They might seem harmless to human but once these substances are mishandled, it can be make one 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.
Information about these hazardous substances or dangerous goods are enclosed in a material safety data sheet. These information provided cannot eb found on labels. 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. The purchase of containers must be labelled based on the usage for different hazardous substances. It is highly recommended to conduct risk assessment to hazardous substances.
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. Safety data sheets are important in conducting risk assessment as request by the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH). These sheets are not an assessment. The sheet could greatly help you in assessing the risk of these hazardous substances. These information provided is vital specifically the boiling point and classification of these substances. Therefore, a company must provide MSDS in their workplace.