Safety

Tip of the week: MSDSs and employee training for chemical hazards

Hospital Safety Insider, July 29, 2010

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Chemicals are a fact of life in the 21st century. Medical settings abound with chemicals for performing procedures, disinfecting surfaces, and cleaning instruments. Some of these chemicals can damage our lungs, skin, and nervous systems. OSHA's Hazard Communication standard gives employees the "right to know" about the dangers of chemicals they may be exposed to as part of their job.

Material safety data sheets (MSDS), which provide extensive information about a particular chemical, need to be readily available, but access to MSDSs are only part of OSHA's requirements; staff members must be able to interpret the safety and health information on them. Would your employees recognize an overexposure to a chemical they work with? Do they know how to protect themselves from that chemical? Would an OSHA inspector ask? You bet!

For more tips, check out HCPro's new book, OSHA Training Handbook for Healthcare Facilities.



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