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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

IMPORTANCE OF MEASUREMENT OF OSHA HAZARD COMMUNICATION


THE NEED FOR BASE LINE, FOCUSED and ONGOING PROGRAM EVALUATION AND AUDITING
It was very apparent that the Owner's on site Operational Manager was unaware, but should have been aware of the hazards of the newly purchsed chemical and their responsibility and accountatility to the business, share holders, stakeholders, customers and employees.

Q - WHO SHOULD SHARE IN THE LIABILITY IN THIS CASE?
Q - DO THE OWNERS REALLY UNDERSTAND WHERE THEY HAVE MISMANAGED?
I was reviewing an incident the other day and the business owner just doesn’t get-it… and suffers from a lack of understanding management and leadership of what is really going on in his business.
THE INCIDENT
NOTE: (paragraph No. 1 and 2)
In the first paragraph the owner in their statement explains that injuries to team members and guests were minor, when headaches, inhalation of the chemical, etc. are illnesses - symptoms of exposure.

In the second paragraph the business owner’s comments. We have worked with authorities to determine how this happened and are satisfied that we understand what occurred. A change in supplier of cleaning materials resulted in an accidental mishandling. That has been corrected and procedures revised…
1.    The owner explains an accident occurred at our facility this morning that required the assistance of first responders. Most importantly, the safety and well-being of our guests and employees is always our first concern and I am happy to report that team members and guests involved were treated and released and injuries were minor. Our thanks to the first responders. The facility is reopened and we are operating normal hours.

2.    We have worked with authorities to determine how this happened and are satisfied that we understand what occurred. A change in supplier of cleaning materials resulted in an accidental mishandling. That has been corrected and procedures revised. We have every confidence in our training procedures and systems, as evidenced by the fact a problem like this has not occurred in the past and the business has a solid safety record. We are grateful that this was not more serious and thank the first responders for their excellent handling of the situation.            
COMMENTARY The business suffers seriously from a lack of knowledge of the OSHA Hazard Communication Standard, in short requiring the employer train employees on warning labels, hazards, materials, and chemical health, safety and environmental awareness that would include review of the Material Safety Data Sheet prior to its use into the work area, process, and it being handled by the end user (Their Employees) and those who may be in the area exposed to the chemical or material.

Aside from Employer's their on site management, and thoes who purchase chemicals and materials need to make certain they are trained and understand OSHA's Hazard Communication Standard!

Within the Hazard Communication Program the employer must evaluate and list each hazardous material or chemical for health, safety and environmnetal hazards and review it to verify how it will interact with other chemicals/materials used within and around the process it will be utilized within. This would also include newly purchased chemicals. Thus, the need to review, train and communicate the MSDS to the end user, in this case the employees, so they properly handle, use proper PPE, store, and handle the waste, as required by the manufacturer. However, the chemical in this case was a new Delimer and while employees were using the chemical it mixed with a Chlorine Bleach Product causing the toxic incident and evacuation of the building.
SOME OF THE MSDS DATA ON DELIMER CHEMICAL READS AS FOLLOWS:
SECTION 5 - REACTIVE DATA
Stability- Yes Incompatibility- Avoid mixing directly with any other cleaning product. Avoid bases and bleach. Avoid various metals (aluminum, zinc, tin, brass or bronze) which can generate flammable hydrogen gas. Mix only with water.

Hazardous Decomposition Products- Fire or mixing with bleach may cause release of chlorine gas, oxides of sulfur and other toxic and irritating fumes.

SECTION 6 - HEALTH HAZARDS
Primary Routes of Exposure- Eye Skin Oral Inhalation Other Signs and Symptoms of Over-Exposure (Acute)- Corrosive. Causes skin burns. Causes eye burns. May cause permanent damage including blindness without

immediate first aid  treatment. Harmful or fatal if swallowed. Inhalation of mists may cause corrosive effects to nose, throat, and respiratory system.

Signs and Symptoms of Over-Exposure (Chronic)- None known.

Medical Conditions Aggravated by Over-Exposure- Any respiratory or skin condition.

Carcinogen or Suspect Carcinogen Ingredients- NTP IARC OSHA       NONE (Stated By Manufacturer)

SECTION 7 - EMERGENCY AND FIRST AID PROCEDURES
Eyes: Immediately flush eyes with running water for at least 15-20 minutes, keeping eyelids open. Get medical attention.

Skin: Immediately flush with plenty of water for at least 15-20 minutes. Remove and wash contaminated clothing and footwear before re-use. Get medical attention.

Ingestion: Give a cupful of water or milk. Then immediately contact a physician or poison center. Do not induce vomiting unless directed to do so by medical personnel.

never give anything by mouth to an unconscious person.

Inhalation: If breathing is affected: remove to fresh air. Get medical attention



















Friday, February 17, 2012

INDIRECT LOSS COSTS OF INJURIES

In various organizational audits I have performed over the years when evaluating accident and incident investigation and analysis records... in many instances I noticed a lack of documentation and managements understanding, quantifying, and accounting for the indirect loss costs of an injury accident or incident. Example: When it comes to a Workers' Compensation (WC) Injury, your WC insurance carrier will pay the cost of the employee injury and his time away from work (of course you will to as a business at some point in your future premiums as well... However,  who is paying for the rest of the Indirect Loss Costs associated with that loss? Let's take a look of some of those Indirect Loss Cost items that are not usually quantified, listed, or calculated on the accident or any other report! One that I didn't list for various reasons but must be thought about because of its costly consequences is, third party liability. 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

SO LET'S DEFINE CRITICAL WHEN IT COMES TO CONTROLLING LOSS...

ORGANIZATIONAL MANAGEMENT

CAN YOU LET CRITICAL ITEMS TO CHANCE???

 Regardless of the business, organization, entity, if we're discussing Critical Tasks, Critical Parts, Equipment, Process, Critical Standards, etc., when they fail, there can be major loss. So, if they are not identified, located, listed and properly inspected, evaluated, analyzed, maintained and controlled in your business or organization, on a pre-planned schedule... there is good indication that a major event will occur with major loss. So the time is Ticking... Will, and can you afford to take that chance?
We can assist you with this professional loss control management program element. 

                                                




  CRITICAL AND MOC
ARE SYNONYMOUS

       

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

SO WHY CONTROL LOSS?

Each and every business, entity, or organization has sufferd various types of losses.With each loss comes a break in continunity in business operations and activities in the area where the loss has occurred. And regardless if the loss is an accident or incident involving injury, property damage, down time, time element loss, customer complaint, public liability, etc...there are various costs associated with each loss. Some losses are insured, but many are not. The uninsured costs of loss are like leaks in a ship, and if not controlled management must make up for thoes costs through budget cuts, increased sales, etc...