Hi and welcome to another whiteboard session with Laurie O’Donaghue from Total Management and Training, today I’m going to talk about emergency procedures for hazardous chemicals.
I’ve talked in previous sessions about safety data sheets. Safety data sheets will give you information about how a chemical is going to react in the workplace, what the exposures are and what could happen.
We need to then interpret that into emergency procedures in the workplace. Depending on the amount of substance that you have, the risks associated with that substance, we may need to put in specific emergency procedures.
There is two things we need to consider,
- The emergency preparedness - what do we need to do in relation to managing that?
- 2. As an extension of that we need to look at emergency equipment.
Let’s have a look at those in a little bit more detail.
The first is, we need to have an emergency plan which is about planning for that emergency, in other words how do we manage the process? what equipment do we need? What training do we need to give the people?
It’s actually planning for the emergency, whereas the actual emergency procedures is the response. The response will have to deal with: - How we deal with a spill, is there release? What if a worker was exposed to it, how would we respond there, do we need to have people go in and rescue with breathing apparatus?
How would we control a fire or explosion and are there any responses we need to put in place for an off-site consideration. For example, if our worksite is alongside a school, what would we do to make sure that the substance or release of that substance is not going to impact on the school.
Those are your emergency procedures, we need to then implement that through some training with our workers and some testing. We might do some drills to make sure they work effectively and conduct a review of the plan.
So that is our emergency preparedness and our emergency procedures. As part of this we will look at the emergency equipment we require on the site, which is things like PPE, spill kits, first aid kits, fire protection systems and communications.
So that is very simple session on Emergency preparedness for hazardous chemicals.
You need to go back to your safety data sheets and do an evaluation of what the risk levels are going to be to develop up what type of emergency preparedness you need.