Tips for a Unified Hazard Communication & Emergency Response Plan
Imagine this: You own a chemical additive manufacturing facility. You receive a phone call that four employees were injured on the job after an explosion happened. Mishandling hazardous materials led to the explosion and two workers jumping a security fence topped with barbed wire to escape the blast. How could this have happened?
An Ohio manufacturer experienced a similar scenario and was fined over $200,000 by OSHA for failure to handle hazardous materials, failure to respond properly to an emergency and various process safety violations.
The big lesson to take away is that managing chemical inventory involves more than just tracking what is used. Facilities with certain volumes and types of chemicals are required to train employees on chemical safety and how to respond to emergencies. Initial hazard communication training is required for new hires and refresher training is required when a new hazard is present in the workplace.
Hazard Communication would have aided the workers on how to handle chemicals in the scenario above. Fire Safety and Emergency Action Plans also play an integral part in overall workplace safety, and would have taught the workers in the above scenario what to do and not do.
Here are tips SRP Safety Consultants recommend to incorporate into worker safety training.
- Make sure all workers and management are up to date on OSHA regulations as it pertains to the use, storage or disposal of chemicals. (Covered in Hazard Communication training.)
- Designate a person to update the chemical inventory list and Safety Data Sheets as chemicals are brought in and out of the facility. (Covered in Hazard Communication training.)
- Train workers on applicable emergency action plans. At a minimum, emergency action plans should contain emergency evacuation procedures, type of evacuation and exit route assignments, procedures for critical plant operations prior to evacuation, how to account for all employees after evacuation, performing rescue or medical duties, and identify pertinent contact information for all employees.
- Train workers on fire or explosive incidents involving hazardous chemicals. (Covered in Fire Safety and/or Hazard Communication)
- Train workers on equipment use and shut-down procedures in case of emergency.
- Provide first responders with safety data sheets.
- Work with first responders to develop emergency response plan for each specific facility.
Are your employees properly trained? How often do they receive refresher training? Call SRP Safety Consultants today to develop a customized training program. Contact us at (318) 222-2364 or visit us online. We have seven convenient locations in Charlotte, Dallas, Denver, Honolulu, Midland, Shreveport, and Pittsburgh. Located elsewhere? Let us come to you.