The organization has a plan for the management of hazardous materials
The organization maintains a list of department wise hazardous materials. Safety manual has a documented procedure for sorting, storage, handling, disposal mechanism and managing spillages. Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for all these materials are made available in the concerned departments.
List of Hazardous Material
The organisation has ensured display of Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for all hazardous materials and has accordingly arranged training of personnel who handle such materials
Sorting, labelling, handling, transporting and disposable of hazardous materials
The hospital has established a system to implement processes for sorting, labelling, handling, transporting and disposable of hazardous materials. These materials are stored in a place, which is away from flammable materials. Firefighting equipment is provided near the storing area and the stores person is trained in firefighting
General information on hazardous materials:
Each employee has the right to know about potentially hazardous materials/chemicals in their work environment. Every chemical should be considered dangerous until you have become knowledgeable about the properties of that material/chemical.
Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS)
The Safety Officer will maintain a current master copy Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) library of all chemicals used in the hospital. In addition, some of the important areas using hazardous materials shall have copies of the MSDS in their work areas.
Refer to the manufacturer’s label on the container for information regarding the hazardous properties of the chemical.
The Safety Office will provide training for all employees as required by the Right-to-Know Law to include the following:
- How to use and interpret MSDS.
- Explanation of the labelling system.
- General explanation on classes of hazards – flammable, toxic, corrosive, reactive
- The Right-to-Know Training will be given to all new employees at orientation and annually thereafter for all employees who work with hazardous materials.
Departmental Heads or In Charges are responsible to see:
That copies of MSDS are maintained in their work areas. That their employees are familiar with and are aware of the hazardous materials/chemicals in their work areas. That safety procedure for handling and using hazardous materials/chemicals are developed and followed by their employees. That annually an inventory of the hazardous materials/ chemicals used in their work area is forwarded to the Safety Office. The Safety Office will notify departments when their inventories are due.
Identification of Hazardous Materials
- Ignitability indicates the concentration of the substance, in the form of a gas or vapour that is needed for it to ignite. Ignition is less likely below the lower limits or above the upper limits.
- Flashpoint is the minimum temperature at which flammable or explosive vapours have the potential to ignite or explode.
- Reactivity indicates what can happen if a given chemical is mixed with other chemicals or air or water. In some cases, the mixing of reactive materials can cause toxic vapours to be released or an explosion to occur.
- Toxicity or the health problems associated with chemical exposure is its ability to cause harmful effects/illness exposure, illness. These effects can strike a single cell, a group of cells, an organ system, or the entire body.
- A chemical is determined to be hazardous depending on the following:
- Toxicity: How much is required to do harm
- Route of Exposure: How the substance enters the body
- Duration: The length of time of exposure
- Sensitivity: How the body reacts to the substance compared to other people
Criteria for Classification of Hazardous Materials:
The classification of chemical hazards as recommended by the UN Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods has been widely adopted for the conveyance of hazardous chemicals for all modes of transport. Hazard types are segregated into nine basic classes represented numerically from 1 to 9. Many of these classes are further separated into divisions and subdivisions according to appropriate criteria. The criteria adopted for the classification of hazards into divisions may vary from United Nations recommendations according to the mode of transport and the regulatory body concerned. Each United Nations hazard class (with the exception of Class 9) has a distinct diamond-shaped label bearing a pictogram for quick hazard recognition. Each label also has a characteristic background color (Colour Scheme as per UN classification of Dangerous Goods). In addition to the pictogram, hazard-warning diamonds may also bear an approved inscription quoting the hazard and /or the United Nations hazard class number. The basic principle, however, is that the shape, color and pictogram convey a clear message of danger, thus overcoming language difficulties. With international acceptance, the value of such a labeling system when displayed on vehicles and packages is clear because it provides a warning to the general public to keep away. In an accident situation, the emergency services are provided with an indication of the primary hazard likely to be encountered.