THE NEED FOR BASE LINE, FOCUSED and ONGOING PROGRAM EVALUATION AND AUDITINGIt 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.
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 DATAStability- 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 HAZARDSPrimary 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 PROCEDURESEyes: 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