Where is your SDS Binder? It has been my experience over the years that people like “low hanging fruit”. One of these low hanging pieces of fruit that OSHA inspectors like to pluck is asking workers where the Safety Data Sheet Binder is. If you or your workers don’t know where it is, most likely, you will be facing a fine.
If you put OSHA and the fines aside, and think about this for a second, you will quickly realize that it is your duty to ensure everyone knows the chemicals that are at the work site. Chemicals can have immediate side effects, or long term side effects. Some of these ailments cannot be cured so it is crucial that everyone knows where the SDS binder is.
Why is the SDS binder so important? It is simple, the Safety Data Sheets contain the hazards associated to each chemical, what the recommended protective measures are, and treatment options if there is an incident or exposure. The design of the binder is to give you and your employees a quick reference to be able to complete the task safely.
What do you have to do? Each year you need to hold a training session where you review where the binder is located, how to read the safety data sheets, and who to ask questions to should they have them. Once everyone knows how to read the sheets, and knows where the binder is located. Theoretically, everyone should be able to avoid any of the toxic effects of the chemical.
Do you know where your SDS binder is? What is your process to identify new chemicals? How do you ensure that all of the chemicals Safety Data Sheets are added to your binder?
Answering the above questions and putting together a process to get any new chemicals added are two keys to have a successful hazard communication program. You can read more about OSHA’s hazard communication requirement by clicking here.
By: Scott Teepe Jr