Sunday, October 21, 2012

SDS's - Hazard Communication Standard Required by GHS (Globally Harmonized System)

That changeover from the MSDS to the new Safety Data Sheet (SDS) has started and will take 4-years to transpire. The pictures in the new(M)SDS's will be easier to understand. No more Letter-M before the SDS! globally the format will look the same in China as in CALIFORNIA, or Brazil or London.

By December 1, 2013, you must train all employees that use, handle, or store chemicals in your workplace on two things: the SDS (sheets)themselves (in 16 parts now) and the new labels with and their picture based look.

When training, explain that the new format will make it easier to find the information employees need to work safely with hazardous chemicals such as:
•What the chemical is.
•Who makes or sells it and where they're located.
•Why the chemical is hazardous (including health & physical hazards).
•What exposure limits are recommended.
•How you can be exposed to the hazards & what conditions could increase the risk.
•How to handle the substance safely.
•What protection to use while working with it.
•What to do if you're exposed.
•How to handle a spill or other emergency.r

Thursday, September 27, 2012


Here's a checklist developed by NIOSH to help you evaluate your hearing conservation program. Use it to benchmark your progress and identify where improvement is needed.

•Has hearing protection training been conducted at least once this year?
•Is the training delivered by a qualified instructor?
•Was the success of each training program evaluated?
•Is the content revised periodically?
•Are managers and supervisors directly involved?
•Are posters, regulations, handouts, and employee newsletters used as supplements?
•Are personal counseling sessions conducted for employees who have problems with hearing protection devices or who show hearing threshold shift?

•Have supervisors been provided with the knowledge required to supervise the use and care of hearing protectors by their employees?
•Do supervisors wear hearing protection in appropriate areas?

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Requirements for Pesticide Application & Respiratory Protection

On January 1, 2008 County Agricultural Commissioners began enforcing new respiratory protection regulations adopted by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR). These new regulations, found in Title 3, California Code of Regulations, Section 6739, Respiratory Protection are very similar to the Cal/OSHA regulations for respiratory protection. Below is a summary of some of the key elements Section 6739.

General Requirements. Employers must establish a written respiratory protection program and assure that employees use respirators if respiratory protection is required by label, restricted material permit conditions, regulation, or the employer. The program must be worksite-specific and include the following provisions, as applicable:

•Selection of respirators
•Medical evaluation
•Fit testing
•Proper routine and emergency use
•Cleaning, maintenance, and care
•Ensuring breathing air quality
•Training in respiratory hazards
•Training in respirator use
•Program evaluation

DPR has developed a sample respiratory protection program to assist. Find it in the guidance document HS-1513, Generic Guidelines for Development of a Respiratory Protection Program in Accordance with Department of Pesticide Regulation Requirements. This document also states appropriate qualifications for a program administrator.

Monday, February 20, 2012


Any tool powerful enough to slice through wood can do the same to human flesh, so chainsaw injuries are often serious. If you rent a saw, be sure to get a demonstration of how it works, including its safety features. Then make sure your saw is sharp, properly tensioned, and in good condition.

Some chainsaw injuries are caused by operator error. But, kickback is the greatest cause of injuries. In kickback, the upper chain “grabs” in the wood or an obstruction & forces the saw backward, causing operator to either lose control of the saw or lose balance. This brings the saw in contact with the body. Some chainsaws have chain brakes designed to instantly stop after kickback. These don’t prevent kickback, but can reduce severity of injury.

Carry the saw below your waist, with the engine off and guide bar pointed to the rear, so if you trip the saw drops behind you. It’s dangerous to work alone with chainsaws. Have a companion within calling distance.

If your saw is electric, make sure you use an extension cord that’s approved for outdoor use and don’t use the saw in a damp environment. Fuel your gasoline powered chainsaw outdoors -careful not to overfill or spill fuel. Never refuel a hot saw. Let it cool down & have a fire extinguisher near.