After reading the scenario about ABC Chemicals it was obvious that there were several apparent hazards and risks that I identified which needed to be assessed and either eliminated or controlled. These can be achieved using different Legislative measures and Codes Of Practice(COP) which is relevant to their Industry. By Looking further into the chemicals that ABC handle we can assess the presentable hazards Solvent: most solvents are either flammable or highly flammable, this is dependent on their volatility. When a mixture of vapour and air combine there is a possibility of an explosion.
The vapours from solvent is denser that air, it sinks to the bottom of the container. Vapours can still be found in empty containers and pose threat of possible fire, hence empty containers should be stored open and upside down.
There are many potential health risks caused by solvent including toxicity to the nervous system, liver and kidney damage, respiratory issues to name a few. It burns with an invisible flame making it harder to extinguish.
Corrosives – corrosives have the ability to destroy other substances when in contact. It causes chemical burn when in contact. PPE should be worn including Gloves, Safety Goggles, Protective Apron, Safety Shoes, and a Face Guard. Workers should always consult a SDS relating to the corrosive substance prior to use.
Corrosive substances and mixtures [class 8 dangerous goods] can be either alkaline or acidic and these two categories are incompatible. Risks associated with storage and handling of corrosive substances and mixtures can be eliminated or minimised by observing the guidance on Worksafe Australia “National Code of Practice for the Storage and Handling of Workplace Dangerous Goods” Eyewash and safety showers should be readily accessible where corrosives are handled or transferred.
Acid – acid comes in as a water treatment chemical. It should not be stored with detergents or solutions. Acids should never be stored with alkaline chemicals due to the potential for harmful reactions. Some reactions of acids and alkaline chemicals can be highly exothermic and rapidly generate large amounts of gas, causing an explosion risk. Chemicals such as acids can cause respiratory illnesses, cancers or dermatitis. WHS Regulation 2011
(357 containing and managing spills)
(359 Fire control)
(360-362 Emergency Equipment, Emergency Plans, Safety Equipment) (363-control of risks from storage or handling systems & regulation) (331 – SDS’s)
(60- managing risks to health and safety) manual handling
The WHS Act provides a framework to protect the Health, safety and welfare of all workers at work and that of people who may be affected by the work carried out. The WHS Act aims to *Protect the health and safety of workers and other people by eliminating or minimising risks arising from work or workplaces *Ensure fair and effective representation, consultation and cooperation to address and resolve any health and safety issues in the workplace *Encourage employer organisations and workers Unions to take a constructive role in improving work health and safety practices *Assisting businesses and workers to achieve a healthier and safer working environment *Promote information, education and training on work health and safety *Provide effective compliance and enforcement measures, and *Deliver continuous improvement and progressively higher standards of work health
Worksafe Australia has devised the National Model Work Health and Safety (WHS) Regulations. A new system of Chemical Classification and Hazard communication on Labels and Safety Data Sheets (SDS’s) based on globally Harmonised system of Classification and labelling of chemicals (GHS) will come into affect. There will be a five (5) year transitional period for moving to the new GHS based system, this will allow the two different systems to be used together .
After 31 December 2016, (the end of the 5 year period) all workplace chemicals must be classified using the GHS system, Labels and safety data sheets (SDS) must also be updated.. The WHS Regulations include duties for a Person conducting or Undertaking a business to manage any risk to Health and safety that can be caused from the Handling, Storing and Generating of Hazardous chemicals in the workplace. These Duties include tasks such as, but not limited to:
-Australian Code for “Transport of Dangerous Good by Road & Rail”
-National Industrial Chemical Substances Information System (NICNAS)
– The Regulatory Authorities
-By Searching the internet, such as Safework Australia, the Australian Government webpages as well as many other sites relevant to your industry.
The company could end up in legal strife for not supplying the correct amount of Emergency Equipment as set out in the WHS Regulation 2011
Manual Handling Hazard – the drums are 205 Ltrs, they are then decanted into containers approximately 30 ltrs/Kilo ,there is no mention of appropriate equipment to move these containers.
The Storing the empty drums in the rear of the yard against a cyclone fence, these drums are sitting for a whole month before being removed.
Even though these drums are presumably empty, drums that have had solvent in them, unless stored open and upside down pose a major risk of explosion causing fire, with an un-kept paddock directly behind the fence where these drums are stored there is the potential for the fire to spread causing damage and risk to the public also. The lack of employee training in relation to Safe Handling Of Chemicals (hazardous substances) or how to deal with Emergencies. . No employee’s have be appointed as safety officers (section 19 of the Act), if there was an incident there would be no clear direction to follow..
Location: There is risk to not only to employees of ABC there is also risk to all at the childcare centre, the nursing home, as well as the general public with the building being located on a busy street which is prone to accidents. Lack of Emergency plan displayed. No emergency plan displayed to direct people when there is an incident These risks can be assessed by several means such as SDS (Safety Data Sheets), independent Audit, Employee participation, hazard studies.
Small chemical spills:- (dependent on the severity)- first aid injury is likely due to chemical burn(dependent on skin sensitivity, injury could range from minor-major) High Risk- Have a separate area for decanting each separate chemical. Provide spill containment system, Provide appropriate training in the control of spills, Develop procedure for the control of spills Provide appropriate PPE for each specific chemical
Disposal of Chemical Rags: minor – fatal injuries is very likely from this dangerous practice which is exposing the risk to the disposal company staff and driver Extreme risk- Notify Supervisor/ HSR- Provide spill containment system, Provide controlled waste system, – have a separate waste area for specific chemicals. Set up a controlled collection of waste
Staff Lacking Training in handling chemicals – minor – fatality possible Extreme risk-Immediate action required, notify supervisor/HSR. | Adopt a training plan to up skill the workforce in line with legislative requirements. Ensure the training covers areas such as
Limited Emergency Equipment – major injury is very likely through to fatality Extreme risk- immediate action required, notify supervisor/HSR. Undertake risk assessment with workers and emergency services to determine all main risks. Review SDS to identify risks Implement additional emergency equipment as required, an example of such equipment could be : * Spill containment systems * Emergency showers and eye wash stations * Monitors and alarms *Fire fighting equipment
Extreme risk- separation of the different chemicals in storage areas to minimise the risk of interaction. Ensure the clear displaying of SDS information for each of chemicals
Storage of empty chemical drums- Major – Fatality
Extreme Risk- Organise that the collection of empty drums are done more frequently (eg: Weekly) Ensure Solvent drums are turned upside down with lid open to reduce risk of gas build up. Ensure each chemicals drums are stored separate to each other to minimise interaction
Extreme risk- consultation within the workplace, and surrounding Businesses. Develop a emergency plan including things such as – evacuation procedures – Notification Procedures ( advising emergency services – medical treatment – Communication procedures between co-ordinater of the emergency response and everyone at the workplace. The plan is to be explained to all existing staff, and included in inductions for future staff. The plan needs to be displayed in a location that is accessible to all staff of the workplace. The plan will be reviewed at acceptable intervals no more than 5yrs to ensure its effectiveness or when there is a change warranting an update.
Manual Handling- Minor- Major There is no mention of Lifting devices meaning injury is then Extreme Risk. Ensure adequate training of workers in regard to proper Manual handling. Ensure there is appropriate lifting devices for employees to use to minimise the risk of injury
Location- Minor – Fatality. Due to proximity to day-care and nursing home and the fact it is on a busy rd which is prone to accidents there is a Extreme risk- the installation of safety barriers around ABC Chemicals to minimise the risk of damage caused by motor vehicle accident, set up exclusion zone for storage of any chemicals. Consultation with the aged care facility and the surrounding Businesses regarding ABC’s emergency Plan in case of incident