Safety

Tip of the week: The challenges of hazardous chemical reporting

Hospital Safety Insider, May 5, 2011

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The following is an excerpt from the May issue of Briefings on Hospital Safety

The EPA's Tier II requirements

Many hospitals use or store hazardous chemicals in quantities sufficient to require reporting an annual inventory to state and local officials to comply with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations.

Most states require facilities to submit a Tier II form, which gathers detailed information on the amount and location of each hazardous chemical. One of the form's ¬purposes is to let emergency responders know what hazardous materials they can expect to find at a facility in the event of an emergency, the EPA says.

Tier II reporting presents challenges for environmental health and safety professionals at hospitals and other facilities, said Tiffany Jetson, marketing specialist at Safetec Compliance Systems, Inc., in Vancouver, WA. Jetson spoke at a webinar on Tier II reporting sponsored by Safetec, a software-as-a-service company that provides material safety data sheet (MSDS) and chemical management solutions and services.

The rapid influx of new chemicals into the market within the past decade has been the catalyst for new compliance initiatives, Jetson said.

In fact, the EPA in 2010 added 16 suspected ¬cancer-causing chemicals to the list of toxic chemicals that are subject to reporting under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA). These additions took effect as of the March 1, 2011, reporting deadline.



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