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  • When it comes to using chemicals what you dont know

  • can hurt you... badly! After all its not

  • only your livelihood but your life. So you need to know about

  • the potential chemical hazards that can affect you and your coworkers health and safety

  • That's why OSHA

  • developed the hazards communication standard

  • you may have heard it referred to as the right to know act which is a regulation

  • of the EPA

  • This program will help you learn about the hazardous chemicals you may be exposed to on the job.

  • And the steps you and your employer can take for your safety and

  • protection.

  • There are

  • two ways a chemical can be hazardous.

  • It can be a physical hazard if it has the potential to cause a dangerous situtation.

  • Like a fire or explosion and it

  • can be a health hazard if it has the potential to damage your health.

  • Or it can be both. A chemical can damage your

  • health when you inhale it, ingest it, or absorb it through your skin or eyes.

  • Acute health hazards like poisoning and chemical burns

  • due their damage rapidity as the result of short term exposure.

  • Chronic health hazards affect the body slowly through long

  • term exposure. Chronic health problems such as

  • cancer and heart damage have been linked to particular chemicals

  • Almost everyone in a hospital has the possibility of working with hazardous

  • chemicals. Let's start with the nursing unit here

  • certain drugs can be very hazardous. Like the powerful chemotherapy

  • drugs given to fight cancer. Accidental exposure to these

  • drugs can actually cause cancer and other serious health problems. To

  • nurses and pharmacist that mix them. And to the house keeping staff who

  • clean up spills and remove waste. Accidental exposure is even

  • possible in busy ER where treating industrial workers involved

  • in accidents. And don't think chemicals are only liquids in containers.

  • Your hazard communication program covers chemicals in all

  • physical forms. Liquids solids gasses

  • vapors, fumes and mists.

  • If it is a hazard and you could be exposed to it, its covered.

  • Take anesthetic gases exposure

  • may cause headaches, nausea, decreased mental alertness and

  • reduced motor coordination. And may contribute to

  • birth defects, miscarriages, and cancer in operating

  • and recovery room staff. Or

  • ethylene oxidize. A very hazardous gas used to sterilize

  • hospital equipment. If not used properly it can damage

  • the skin, respiratory system and the nervous system.

  • And it may cause sterility, birth defects and cancer.

  • And plain old oxygen

  • used in operating and recovery rooms and contained in pipes through out

  • some hospitals is dangerous because it makes other materials because it makes other materials

  • highly flammable. And what

  • about this cleansing agent? Is it Hazardous? You bet!

  • Products like disinfectants and grease cutters seem harmless enough but

  • they are solvents that means they dissolve other substances.

  • And if you are not careful your skin and eyes can be damaged.

  • As we have already seen

  • some chemicals commonly used in health care today may cause

  • possible reproduction damage these chemicals include

  • ethylene oxide, hydrocarbons

  • anti-cancer drugs, mercury,

  • nitrous oxide, formaldehyde and various

  • ingerdients in cleaning solutions . Also

  • PCB's which may be present in

  • the transformers of some older facilities have been linked with reproductive damage.

  • Knowing the hazards your working with

  • is an important first step in protecting yourself.

  • That's why you should get to know your employers written communication program

  • It's your guide to working safely with chemicals

  • The program lists all the hazardous chemicals

  • present in your facility including those in unlabeled pipes

  • it also contains information on how your employer will

  • provide warning labels. Material safety data sheets and information

  • and training who work with chemicals on a routine bases

  • It also tells you who is responsible for seeing

  • that the program is carried out in your facility.

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  • By law

  • every chemical that is shipped into you facility must have a warning label attached to it by it's manufacture

  • A warning label is your first line of information

  • it lists a variety of vital information and must

  • include the products chemical name any hazardous ingredients

  • hazard warning and the chemical manufacture name and address

  • The hazard warning must include target organ effects

  • so if when inhaled the chemical causes lung damage

  • then that is the appropriate warning.

  • Lung damage is the hazard not inhalation.

  • If you notice any hazardous chemicals with warning labels that are

  • damage incomplete or missing. Reort it to your supervisor

  • your employer is responsible for seeing that they are replace.

  • And if a chemical is

  • transferred to another container your employer must make sure that the

  • new container is labeled. However there are few exceptions

  • for example if a number of stationary containers

  • in an area with similar hazards your employer

  • can post warning signs instead of labeling each container

  • and since pipes are not considered containers they do not have

  • to be labeled. Another exception

  • when you transfer a container to a portable one

  • the portable container does not have to be labeled if you plan to use

  • the chemical immediately, but be sure you

  • never leave an unmarked chemical unattended.

  • And if you do find an unlabeled container don't assume

  • that the contents are harmless because there is no label

  • in fact some health care facilities require all containers to be labeled

  • even if they contain water.

  • Other labeling information you may find is the the National

  • Fire protection Association symbol and numbering system.

  • This symbol shows the chemicals various hazards

  • The yellow diamond tells you the chemical's reactivity.

  • Blue indicates if it is a serious

  • health hazard. And red shows

  • the chemicals flammability. The higher the number from 0-4

  • the grater the hazard.

  • Also look in the white diamond for the chemicals specific hazard

  • for example OX means it is an oxidizer

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  • For more

  • detailed information than the warning label gives you can turn to the chemicals

  • material's MSDS

  • chemical suppliers must provide an MSDS on every hazardous chemical

  • they ship into your workplace. Your employer then makes sure

  • that the MSDS is available for every chemical you work with is available to you.

  • MSDS's may be kept in a binder

  • a file cabinet or on a computer terminal

  • as long as you can gain access to them in your work area during working hours.

  • The MSDS you work with comes in a variety of lengths and formats

  • they all contain the same vital information

  • but it may be organized in various ways.

  • It is always a good practice to be familiar with the MSDS for any chemical you

  • work with before a problem arises. That way you

  • are prepared to react to an emergency.

  • First of all the MSDS gives you the name of the chemcial.

  • The same name that is on the products container. It also lists

  • the name address and phone number of the manufacturer in case you have questions

  • about the chemical. As well as an emergency number.

  • If you have two MSDS's

  • for the same chemical use the one with the most complete information.

  • Also check the date the MSDS was last revised

  • this tells you how up to date the MSDS is

  • the MSDS must identify the substance by it's chemical names

  • and any common name.

  • This is usually done in the first section of the form.

  • For instance formaldehyde which is used in hospital labs to preserve

  • surgical specimines

  • if the chemicals identity is a trade secret

  • the manufacture can with hold this information but

  • the manufacturer must still provide the inforamtion on the chemicals hazards

  • and how to control them.

  • A second section lists hazardous ingredients and how they can harm you.

  • It also gives the concentration of the chemical to which you can be safely exposed.

  • Look for keys terms like permissible exposure limits

  • Threshold limit value

  • The maximum concentration of the substance that most

  • are allowed to be exposed to over an 8 hour shift

  • a thrid section

  • describes physical data that can help you identify the chemical

  • such as its appearance and odor

  • as well as boiling point, melting point, vapor pressure, vapor density,

  • solubility and evaporation rate

  • for example formaldehyde is described as a clear

  • colorless liquid with a pungent odor. While chloroform

  • another lab chemical is described as a clear colorless volatile liquid

  • with a sweet pleasant odor.

  • A fourth section informs you of any server immediate hazards

  • such as when the chemical may ignite or explode

  • look for the flash point or temperature at which the

  • chemical ignites. For flammables this is belwo 100 degress

  • for combustables

  • the flash point is 100 degrees or above

  • here you will find out what to put on the fire to put it out safely

  • Another section lists health

  • hazards caused by the chemical. Including the symptoms of over exposure.

  • Medical conditions that may be aggravated by exposure.

  • For anti-cancer drugs the MSDS's states

  • that acute overexposure can cause eye, skin, and respiratory,

  • irritation. While chronic exposure can cause changes in skin pigmentation.

  • In addition the drug itself can cause

  • cancer and it may aggravate pre-existing medical conditions

  • such as cardiovascular, liver or kidney disease, and bone marrow impairment.

  • This section also gives

  • first aid and emergency procedures. For example

  • wash with soap and water immediately after

  • contact with your skin.

  • A section on reactivity informs you on whether the chemical is stable or

  • unstable, conditions to avoid as well as it's incompatibility

  • with other materials. Another

  • section tells how to clean up accidental spills or leaks and may tell

  • how to dispose of the chemical. For example

  • to clean a spill of ethylene oxide the MSDS says to wear a self contained

  • breathing apparatus and full protective clothing.

  • In many instances commercially packaged response kits are available to clean

  • up spills of blood and other hazardous substances including some chemcials

  • its always a good idea to notify

  • your supervisor of any chemical spill right away.

  • And make sure you are trained and wearing the appropriate gear

  • before you try to clean it up

  • the section on special protection lists any PPE you will need

  • to work safety with the chemical. Such as a flow hood respirator mask, splash goggles,

  • latex gloves and long sleeve impermeable disposible

  • gown if you work with anti cancer drugs

  • full protective gear as well as an air

  • supply positive respirator are also MSDS recommendation

  • when you must change bottles of ethylene oxide.

  • And even common cleaning products can require you to use PPE

  • For example this chemical cleans and disinfects

  • hospital shower stalls making the environment safe for patients

  • but when you follow the MSDS by wearing gloves and goggles

  • You help keep yourself safe as well.

  • A final section lists additional special precaustions

  • to follow when handling the chemical this may include

  • what you have on had to clean up a spill or extinguish a fire

  • as well as other health and safety information

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  • Another important source of information on hazardous chemical

  • is your employers trainings program this includes helping you understand

  • you facilities written hazard communication program.

  • And how to read and use the various labels and MSDS's

  • You will also learn about the specific hazards from chemical

  • you are exposed to on the job even if your exposure is accidental

  • To ensure a safe work environment you will be trained

  • before actually working with the chemicals and if the chemical

  • you currently work with is replaced by chemical with similar hazards you will not be

  • retrained. You will learn about the steps

  • your employer has take to protect you. and how you can protect yourself

  • through the use of PPE and safe work practices.

  • You will also learn to detect the presence of hazardous chemicals by their appearance

  • smell or other charateristics.

  • And finally should the unexpected happen. You will be trained in various emergency producers

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  • Now you understand that you need to know about the chemicals you work with.

  • And that the warning labels MSDS's and written hazard communication program

  • are important vital keys to safety.

  • All this information is your right to know. But it is no good unless you

  • exercise that right. Please be sure to read all warning labels

  • and check out the MSDS's. Then use that

  • information by wearing the necessary protective equipment and by following

  • and by following safety procedures carefully.

  • You need to know!

  • Because when it comes to working with chemicals it's what you know that

  • counts.

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B1 chemical hazardous hazard warning exposure health

HAZCOM Intro Video

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    kuoyumei posted on 2015/08/21
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