Spill Control: How to Choose Effective Spill Kits

Spill Kits and Sorbents

No matter how careful you are when handling and storing hazardous materials, occupational accidents can still occur. And when they do, it is best to be prepared for possible spills by keeping spill kits and sorbents handy in the workplace.

But with the numerous spill kits available in the market, how do you select the one that can take care of the particular dangerous substances in your jobsite? Keep in mind that what works for oils can’t be used for cleaning up an acid spill. Here are a few simple guidelines you should remember when selecting spill kits and sorbents:

  1. Always remember to review the Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for the substances your business handles. The MSDS will contain information on recommended spill clean-up methods and materials, including the proper protective equipment.
  2. Make sure to match your selected spill kits’ capacity with the amount of chemicals your facility uses. When you have to deal with a 55-gallon drum of solvent, a 30-gallon spill kit will quickly be overwhelmed. Have enough equipment for the job.
  3. Select your spill kits based on the type of spills that may occur. Most spill control equipment is optimized to deal with three types of spills. Non-aggressive liquids are handled by the universal Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) category of kits, while petroleum and oil spills are addressed by special oil-only kits. Acids and dangerous materials must be handled with HazMat-specialized kits, and appropriate authorities must be summoned to aid.

These three quick tips should form the basis for your spill kit acquisition and consequently contribute to your safety when tackling HazMat mishaps. For more pointers on spill control, consult the Seton Canada Product Resource Centre. You can also turn to institutions such as the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety for detailed information about various chemicals.

Are Your Workers Ready for the New GHS Standards?

GHS Label

The United States and 65 other countries are transitioning to the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS), and Canada will soon follow. This means an update to laws related to the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS), including the Hazardous Products Act and Controlled Products Regulations.

Health Canada will make the necessary changes to the WHMIS-related laws, which will be published this year in Canada Gazette Part II, according to the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS). The exact timeline will for enforcement hasn’t been announced yet, but it could begin as early as 2015, while the jurisdictional updates are expected to be completed by June 2016.

Use Seton CA’s safety training DVDs to educate your staff on the new GHS standards. Three separate products are available in the GHS Regulatory Compliance DVD series, including Introduction to GHS, Safety Data Sheets, and Container Labels. The DVDs can be used by individuals or in a classroom setting and each includes tools such as attendance forms, quizzes and certificates. Get ready for GHS now, so your employees will understand the new labels before they encounter them.

GHS DVD

 

Xtreme-Code™ Pipe Markers for Extreme Winter

Xtreme-Code Pipe Markers

Thanks to the unusual occurrence of the polar vortex, temperatures are dropping even lower than usual this winter, and with it comes a number of unanticipated dangers. These dangers are not just to life and limb but to infrastructures as well. Freezing and sub-zero temperatures can easily freeze piping and cause ruptures, leading to chemical leaks and other accidents.

As a business owner, it is your responsibility to plan and prepare for these eventualities, by selecting the right equipment to secure your pipes against the ravages of intense cold and freezing temperatures.

Selecting the right pipe markers is just a small facet of comprehensive cold-weather crisis prevention. And to deal with such extreme temperatures, consider selecting Xtreme-Code™ Pipe Markers for the job!

Xtreme-Code Pipe Markers are designed to withstand adverse conditions and maintain both readability and adherence. They resist damage, abrasion and chemical dissolution, an ideal quality to have for materials in chemical plants or industrial manufacturing locations. Vital pipes transporting large volumes of chemicals or critical pipes facing extreme temperatures (-40°F to 230°F) must be labelled with Xtreme-Code Pipe Markers to identify the pipe contents and directional flow.

Made from surface-printed self-adhesive polyester, Xtreme pipe markers are protected by a clear polyester overlaminate. They will stick to stainless steel, fiberglass, and other surfaces where pipe markers go, whether indoors or outdoors. They have a lifetime of up to eight years, minimizing replacement costs. Color schemes and lettering are fully compliant with ASME (ANSI) A13.1 standards.

Your business is critical, and you must protect it and its infrastructure against the challenges of extreme temperature and climate change. Xtreme-Code Pipe Markers are up to that challenge!

 

WHMIS Meets GHS: Hazcom Labels Get a New Look

GHS Symbols

The standards for classification and labeling of chemical products vary from country to country. What is considered toxic in Canada may not be considered toxic in the United States, China, or some other part of the world. Pictograms for substance toxicity or flammability may differ across borders, and some countries may not even have pictograms or indicators for certain hazard classes. These inconsistencies are what GHS targets to eliminate.

The Globally Harmonized System for Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) is a standard set of rules that defines chemical products and classifies the hazards associated with each of them. It communicates health and safety information through uniformly formatted GHS labels and safety data sheets (SDSs). When adopted worldwide, GHS can effectively reduce the rate of injuries and fatalities related to hazardous materials on a global scale.

GHS Labels

Material labels are the first level of chemical hazard information. They should contain enough information for workers to affect proper handling procedures and avoid hazards. When the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) finally adopts GHS, chemical labels will surely undergo a major makeover:

  1. GHS Pictograms – Labels will follow the new pictograms, which contain a black symbol on a white background bordered by a red diamond. The previous round border will no longer be used. Some WHMIS symbols, such as the “R” for “Dangerously Reactive”, will also disappear. There are nine HazCom GHS pictograms used in most countries, but there will be 10 in Canada since the old WHMIS symbol for “Hazardous Biological Material” will be kept. Note that specific pictograms are required for certain hazard classes, while some categories do not have symbols associated with them.
  2. Signal Words – The GHS system uses two signal words to communicate hazard degree on both label and SDS: Danger and Warning. The classification system specifies if it is necessary to use a signal word or noGHS Pictogramst. “Danger” is for more toxic substances and mixtures, while “Warning” is for the less hazardous ones.
  3. Hatched Border and MSDS Reference – The WHMIS hatched border and the reference to the corresponding MSDS may not be required anymore.
  4. Hazard Statements – GHS labels should have hazard statements placed close to the pictogram to provide more details on the exact health hazards that come with the substance. These statements are indicated in the GHS classification system as well.

Companies in the United States were required to train their workers on GHS by December 2013, and several other countries have followed suit. Canada Gazette Part II is expected to publish the final regulations this year, and Health Canada means to implement the “WHMIS after GHS” rules in force in 2015. Until then, employers must train their workers on both WHMIS and GHS labeling standards. This can be quite challenging for employees since pictograms differ greatly between the two systems. There are, however, training materials such as posters, wall charts, and GHS wallet cards complete with GHS terminologies and pictograms to help workers out.

Chemicals pose real dangers to human health and the environment. Many chemical-related injuries worldwide are not because of the chemicals themselves, but due to improper material handling, insufficient information, and inconsistent labels. The new GHS standards will help prevent these circumstances.

Fight Injuries in 2014 with First Aid Kits

It’s been over a month since New Year’s Day, and if you haven’t made your safety resolutions yet, now is a good chance to do so. This winter, commit to a zero-accident, zero-injury 2014 by beefing up your safety protocols and equipment.

Of course, it’s not enough just to declare your year will be safe and just hope for the best. When bad things happen, it pays to be equipped for the worst and to have quick access to first aid kits and other medical supplies in case of emergency.

There are many kinds of first aid equipment suitable for any business, but the two most important distinctions to be made when making a purchase is to decide what kind of first aid kits are needed. Make your decision based on your type of business and ask yourself: “What do I and my personnel need to be protected from most?” Other considerations include the environment (closed office or open-air workplace?), the hazards (diseases or accidents, burns and bruises?), and the work being done (professional and desk-bound or physical and machine-operated?).

Deluxe Office First Aid KitFor common offices and other professional buildings, the threats faced by workers are less dramatic, and office first aid kits are the ideal solution:

Office First Aid Kits are optimized for dealing with the minor, everyday injuries common in your average office setting. These include cuts, scrapes and nicks, and an office first aid kit will allow you and your coworkers to hygienically treat such accidents. They also contain supplies needed to prevent infections or diseases from spreading or taking hold, which is a constant concern in the closed environment of the average office.

For more physical needs, the workplace first aid kit contains just what’s needed:

Workplace first aid kits are outfitted similarly to office first aid kits, but have additional provisions for the somewhat more physical threats faced by workers in heavy industries such as manufacturing, construction and warehousing. In those workplaces, the risk of suffering burns or more traumatic injuries is higher. As such, workplace first aid kits often come with burn creams, rescue blankets, splints, and other gears that would be out of place in a calm office.

No matter what your business is, it’s important (and legally mandated) to have adequate first aid kits for all of your workers. Do the safe thing this year and stock up on what you need to deal with any accident!

Seton volunteers at RMH Toronto

SCA volunteers at RMH Toronto

On Saturday, June 8, 2013, employees of Seton Canada and IDenticam came together to participate in the Home for Dinner program for the Ronald McDonald House Toronto.

Ronald McDonald House Toronto provides out-of-town families with a “home away from home” while their seriously ill children receive life-saving medical treatment at local hospitals.

The Home for Dinner program invites groups of volunteers to prepare a meal for the families staying in the House. A total of 7 Seton Canada and IDenticam employees, as well as their family and friends, participated in the event.

“It was amazing, it was a great experience,” said Sherry Currie, a Seton Canada Volunteer Program team member.

After shopping for groceries in the morning, the team met at the RMD house at 2:30 pm and started preparing dinner for approximately 135 people. The menu consisted of a green salad, grilled vegetables, and pasta with meatballs and red sauce for the main course, as well as fruit and ice cream sandwiches for dessert.

“Overall there was a desire for us to work together, especially in the community. This was an opportunity for everyone to get together to donate time, rather than just money,” said Seton Canada’s Employee Volunteer Program Coordinator, Shehzad Hamza.

Some of the volunteers were also given a tour of the House, located in downtown Toronto. The House offers amenities such as a playground, a small movie theatre, laundry services, a gym and even a school that both children undergoing treatment and their siblings can attend.

“We had a lot of fun,” Hamza said. “The best part was the families; a few came over and thanked us for their meal.”

“I highly recommend it,” Currie said. “I think we’re going to try to do it again. And a lot of other employees want to be involved.”

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Compliance Talk: Lock Out/ Tag Out

compliance-talk-LOTO-center-image

To keep workers safe, it’s important that electronically powered equipment and circuits are de-energized before mechanical work is done.

OHSA R.R.O. 1990 Regulation 854, s. 159 (3) specifically requires that precautions to guard workers against injury by moving or energized parts are taken before maintenance, repair or adjustment work is performed on a machine that is energized.

To help comply with these regulations and ultimately prevent accidents, we suggest miners take the following steps prior to performing electrical work.

1. Determine the location of the energy source for the circuit to be worked on.

2. Carefully de-energize the circuit.

3. Each employee working on the circuit should place his/her own lock and tag on the disconnecting device.

4. Test circuit to be worked on for voltage to ensure no electricity is present.

5. Ground all the phase conductors to the equipment grounding conductor with a jumper.

Learn more at Seton’s Mine Talk Newsletter!