2nd Annual Saline County Family Safety & Preparedness Expo

Benton, AR – If you are located in the Saline County AR area, come out and see us at the Benton Event Center for the 2nd Annual Saline County Family Safety & Preparedness Expo.  It is tonight, September 18, 2019 from 4:30 pm – 8:00 pm.  Over 50 companies from across Central Arkansas are expected to attend and host tables.  This gives the families in our community to walk through the exhibit area and get information regarding Public Safety, Health and Preparedness.  There will be safety demonstrations, preparedness activities for the children, free hot dogs and popcorn.  There will also be a raffle to win some items donated by the companies exhibiting.

We will be there along with our King Vac Truck.  Come out and see us.

PPE Levels of Protection

In honor of our first HAZWOPER training for the year this past week, we want to take this opportunity to reshare a popular article we originally posted in January of 2016. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to protect the body against contact with known or anticipated chemical hazards has been divided into four levels. These levels have been established and agreed upon by the US EPA, US Coast Guard, OSHA, DOT, NIOSH, and other agencies.

Level A

Level A protection must be used when the highest level of skin, eye, and respiratory protection is required based on measured levels or potential for high concentrations of atmospheres, vapors, gases or particulates, or when a high potential for skin contact with harmful materials exists. Level A equipment includes:

  • Pressure-demand (positive pressure) full-face self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) or airline respirator with escape SCBA;
  • Totally encapsulating vapor tight chemical-protective suit;
  • Hard hat;
  • Gloves – outer and inner, chemical resistant;
  • Boots – chemical resistant, steel toe, and shank; and
  • Two-way radio (worn inside suit).

Level B

Level B protection must be used when the highest level of respiratory protection is required (as in Level A), but a lesser degree of skin protection is required. Level B equipment includes:

  • Pressure-demand (positive pressure) full-face SCBA or airline respirator with escape SCBA;
  • Hooded, chemical resistant clothing, such as one or two piece splash suit or disposable chemical resistant coveralls;
  • Gloves – outer and inner, chemical resistant;
  • Boots – chemical resistant, steel toe, and shank;
  • Hard hat; and
  • Two-way radio (worn inside suit).

Level C

Level C protection must be worn when airborne contaminants are known and the criteria for using air purifying respiratory is met. Level C equipment includes:

  • Full-face or half-mask air purifying respirators with cartridges approved for the type of exposures likely to be encountered;
  • Hooded, chemical resistant clothing, such as overalls, and long-sleeved jacket, one or two piece splash suit or disposable, chemical resistant coverage;
  • Gloves – outer and inner, chemical resistant;
  • Boots – chemical resistant, steel toe, and shank;
  • Hard hat; and
  • Two-way radio.

Level D

Level D is the basic work uniform that should be used whenever necessary. It provides only minimal protection. Level D equipment, used as appropriate, includes:

  • Boots – chemical resistant, steel toe and shank;
  • Gloves;
  • Safety glasses; and
  • Hard hat.

Additional PPE

If you work in a position that poses other or additional risks it may be beneficial to use added PPE such as a face shield (if you are working near sparking activity), noise canceling earmuffs if you are working around loud equipment, a dust mask if you will be around non-hazardous flying particulates, and a reflective safety vest to help ensure you are always seen.

Today and every day, talk about your facility safety culture and how to promote the use of PPE at all times to protect the safety and health of yourself and your co-workers.


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Winter Safety

Are You Working Safely?

Do you feel as if you are conducting safe workplace techniques? Do you think you could be doing things to make your work environment safer? By taking extra precautions, we have the ability to take initiative and make work safe. It is our responsibility to act safely whether it be at work, home or on the road. With winter quickly approaching, and in some places already having set up camp, we need to consider winter safety. 

Safety at Work

Winter causes many problems, especially when it comes to slipping. Slips and trips happen throughout all four seasons, but winter poses more of a threat because of the falling temperatures. From a company standpoint, we need to make sure we provide a work environment where our employees can perform their job safely and efficiently. Removing snow from all areas helps keep our employees from slipping or falling. Clearing parking lots, sidewalks and all other walkways makes sure your employees have a clear path to go to and from the building or site. Along with snow, we need to make sure there is not an overabundance of ice that is built up in any area. Any spots that are icy should be salted to ensure it melts and is not causing anyone to slip. When an ice patch is identified, there should be a caution sign placed at the time salt is put down. This is going to warn employees to watch their step and to proceed cautiously.

Employer Responsibilities

It is our responsibility as an employer to provide a safe workplace. By examining work environment conditions, we are staying involved. By being involved we are going to personally know that everything is how it should be and is safe for the employees working in the area. If an accident were to happen we need to make sure we keep records or all work-related injuries and illnesses. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were a little over 2 million nonfatal work-related injuries in 2016 alone. If we take the time as employers and employees to have a safe work environment, we can reduce the numbers of work related injuries.

Employee Responsibilities

Whether we work inside or outside there are winter safety steps we need to take in order to avoid injuries. Those of us who work outside need to become aware of our surroundings constantly throughout the day. If there are any spots that look slick, we need to take note, so we can avoid any accidents. Again, putting up caution signs and eliminating slick spots can reduce accidents. Working outside, we need to take care of our personal health as well. With temperatures that can reach into the negatives, we need to protect ourselves from frostbite and hypothermia. Add an extra layer to keep warm, cover your face to keep cold air from entering your lungs, causing respiratory issues. Even if we work inside we still need to take steps to be safe. When you are coming in and out of your facility, check your surroundings. Be sure to avoid any slick areas and report them to your building manager if there are any.

Are You Prepared?

Now you have some things to think about when making your work environment a safer place. We have the ability to take those extra steps, so let’s get out there and keep ourselves and others safe.

OSHA Safety Data Sheets: New Section Regulations, Part 3

Today we will round out our series on the new regulations surrounding the OSHA Safety Data Sheet. If you missed the previous posts, “OSHA Safety Data Sheets: New Section Regulations” or “OSHA Safety Data Sheets: New Section Regulations, Part 2” you may want to read them first. If you’ve read those already though read on to learn about the last five sections.

12. Ecological Information

Section twelve marks the beginning of the non-mandatory portion of the Safety Data Sheet and deals with ecological information. In this section you will find information to evaluate the environmental impact if the chemical or chemicals in question were released into the environment. According to OSHA, this section could include:

  • “Data from toxicity tests performed on aquatic and/or terrestrial organisms, where available (e.g., acute or chronic aquatic toxicity data for fish, algae, crustaceans, and other plants; toxicity data on birds, bees, plants).
  • Whether there is a potential for the chemical to persist and degrade in the environment either through biodegradation or other processes, such as oxidation or hydrolysis.
  • Results of tests of bioaccumulation potential, making reference to the octanol-water partition coefficient (Kow) and the bioconcentration factor (BCF), where available.
  • The potential for a substance to move from the soil to the groundwater (indicate results from adsorption studies or leaching studies).
  • Other adverse effects (e.g., environmental fate, ozone layer depletion potential, photochemical ozone creation potential, endocrine disrupting potential, and/or global warming potential).”

13. Disposal Considerations

This section (which is also non-mandatory) details suggested disposal practices, ways to recycle the chemical(s) or container, and safe handling practices. This section should also refer readers to Section 8 to minimize exposure. Potential information for this section includes:

  • A description of appropriate containers for disposal.
  • Suggestions of appropriate disposal methods.
  • A description of the physical and chemical properties that may affect disposal activities.
  • Language discouraging sewage disposal.
  • Any special precautions for landfills or incineration activities.

14. Transport Information

Section 14, which again is non-mandatory, provides guidance on classification information for shipping and transporting of hazardous chemical(s) by road, air, rail, or sea. The information in this section might include:

  • UN number (i.e., four-figure identification number of the substance).
  • UN proper shipping name.
  • Transport hazard class(es).
  • Packing group number, if applicable, based on the degree of hazard.
  • Environmental hazards (e.g., identify if it is a marine pollutant according to the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code (IMDG Code)).
  • Guidance on transport in bulk (according to Annex II of MARPOL 73/78 and the International Code for the Construction and Equipment of Ships Carrying Dangerous Chemicals in Bulk (International Bulk Chemical Code (IBC Code)).
  • Any special precautions which an employee should be aware of or needs to comply with, in connection with transport or conveyance either within or outside their premises (indicate when information is not available).

15. Regulatory Information

The final non-mandatory section, 15 identifies the safety, health, and environmental regulations specific for the product that is not indicated anywhere else on the SDS. This information could include any national and/or regional regulatory information of the chemical or mixtures (including any OSHA, Department of Transportation, Environmental Protection Agency, or Consumer Product Safety Commission regulations).

16.Other Information

The final section indicates when the SDS was prepared or when the last known revision was made.The SDS may also state where the changes have been made to the previous version.

Hopefully you found this series of posts helpful! If so (and if you would like to see us write an eBook about this subject in the future) please let us know in the comments section! Additionally, for complete information you can visit the OSHA website here.

OSHA Safety Data Sheets: New Section Regulations, Part 2

We wrote on Tuesday about the new regulations concerning OSHA Safety Data Sheets. To refresh, the new regulations require a 16 section format for Safety Data Sheets. This format is modeled after ANSI. The order and placement of each section is not allowed to be altered. We covered sections one through six last time; today we will cover seven through eleven.

7. Handling and Storage

The information required in section seven deals with the safe handling and storage of chemicals.  This section needs to include guidelines for safe handling of chemicals including listing incompatible chemicals, minimizing the release of the chemical into the environment, and providing basic hygiene practices to be followed in chemical work areas.

8. Exposure Controls/Personal Protection

In section eight you need to include exposure limits (OSHA Permissible Exposure Limits (PELs), American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) Threshold Limit Values (TLVs), and any other exposure limit used or recommended), engineering controls, and personal protective measures to be taken to minimize worker exposure.

9. Physical and Chemical Properties

Section nine is where physical and chemical properties associated with the substance or mixture need to be denoted. At a minimum, the information listed in this section needs to include:

  • Appearance (physical state, color, etc.);
  • Upper/lower flammability or explosive limits;
  • Odor;
  • Vapor pressure;
  • Odor threshold;
  • Vapor density;
  • pH;
  • Relative density;
  • Melting point/freezing point;
  • Solubility(ies);
  • Initial boiling point and boiling range;
  • Flash point;
  • Evaporation rate;
  • Flammability (solid, gas);
  • Upper/lower flammability or explosive limits;
  • Vapor pressure;
  • Vapor density;
  • Relative density;
  • Solubility(ies);
  • Partition coefficient: n-octanol/water;
  • Auto-ignition temperature;
  • Decomposition temperature; and
  • Viscosity.

That said, not every item on the list above will be relevant to or available for every substance or mixture. If that is the case manufacturers must make a note of the fact for that chemical property.

10. Stability and Reactivity

This section lists out the information concerning reactivity hazards and chemical stability information and is broken into three parts, reactivity, chemical stability, and other. These three parts require different information.

Reactivity: The reactivity part must include a description of specific test data for the chemical or chemicals. This data can be for a class or family of the chemical if such data adequately represent the anticipated hazard of the chemical(s).

Chemical stability: This section needs to indicate whether or not the chemical is stable or unstable under normal ambient temperature and conditions when stored or transferred.  Additionally, it needs to include a description of any necessary stabilizers needed to maintain chemical stability and an indication of any potential safety issues that could occur it the product were to change in physical appearance.

Other: The “other” section needs to include information on the possibility of hazardous reactions, including a statement as to whether the chemical will react or polymerize, which could release excess pressure or heat, or create other hazardous conditions. Also, a description of the conditions under which hazardous reactions may occur must be included. This section is also where conditions that should be avoided, a list of incompatible materials, and a list of any known or anticipated hazardous decomposition products that could be produced because of use, storage, or heating need to be listed.

11. Toxicological Information

This section must include information that identifies toxicological and health effects or indicate that such data is not available. This information must include likely routs of exposure, description of all effects from short or long term exposure, numerical measures of toxicity, a description of the symptoms associated with exposure, and indication of whether the chemical is listed in the National Toxicology Program (NTP) Report on Carcinogens (latest edition) or has been found to be a potential carcinogen in the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) Monographs (latest editions) or found to be a potential carcinogen by OSHA.

Keep checking the blog for part three (the final post), coming soon. For complete information visit the OSHA website here.

OSHA Safety Data Sheets: New Section Regulations

Alongside the other upcoming OSHA changes we have talked about, the new regulations require a 16 section format for Safety Data Sheets. This format is modeled after ANSI. The order and placement of each section is not allowed to be altered. Since the list is rather long, we will be breaking it up into three posts. Today we will be covering sections one through six.

The details of what are to be included in each section are as follows:

1. Identification

Section one identifies the chemical on the Safety Data Sheet and tells the recommended uses. Additionally, this section provides contact information for the supplier. Information in the section must include:

  • The product identifier as well as any other common names or synonyms the substance may be known as.
  • The manufacturers, importer, or responsible party’s name, address, and phone number as well an emergency number.
  • A short description of the intended use of the chemical as well as any restrictions on use.

2. Hazard Identification

Section two identifies the hazards of the chemical and the appropriate warning information associated with those hazards. The required information consists of, the hazard classification of the chemical, signal word, hazard statement(s), pictograms, precautionary statement(s), and a description of any hazards not otherwise classified. For a mixture that contains an ingredient(s) with unknown toxicity, a statement describing how much (percentage) of the mixture consists of ingredient(s) with unknown acute toxicity must also be included.

3. Composition/Information on Ingredients

The third section of the Safety Data Sheet identifies the ingredient(s) in the indicated product. This will include information on substances (chemical name, common synonyms, Chemical Abstracts Service number, and impurities and stabilizing additives) mixtures (chemical names and concentrations), and all chemicals where trade secret is claimed.

4. First Aid Measures

This section provides information on what type of care should be given by untrained responders if an individual is exposed to the chemical. It should include necessary first-aid instructions by relevant routes of exposure, descriptions of the most important symptoms and effects of exposure as well as any effects that are acute or delayed, and recommendations for immediate care and/or necessary special treatment.

5. Fire-Fighting Measures

Section five details recommended means of fighting a fire caused by the chemical. Because the source of fire impacts how it can be fought this section needs to include recommendations of appropriate extinguishing equipment as well as information about equipment that is inappropriate. Additionally, this section needs to include advice on specific hazards that arise from the chemical burning and recommendations on protective gear or equipment that should be worn by firefighters.

6. Accidental Release Measures

Section six provides recommendations on the appropriate response to spills, leaks, or releases, including containment and cleanup practices to prevent or minimize exposure to people, properties, or the environment. It may also include recommendations distinguishing between responses for large and small spills where the spill volume has a significant impact on the hazard. The required information may consist of recommendations for:

  • Use of personal precautions (such as removal of ignition sources or providing sufficient ventilation) and protective equipment to prevent the contamination of skin, eyes, and clothing.
  • Emergency procedures, including instructions for evacuations, consulting experts when needed, and appropriate protective clothing.
  • Methods and materials used for containment (e.g., covering the drains and capping procedures).
  • Cleanup procedures (e.g., appropriate techniques for neutralization, decontamination, cleaning or vacuuming; adsorbent materials; and/or equipment required for containment/clean up)

Keep checking the blog for part two, coming soon. For complete information visit the OSHA website here.