Evaluating a Site to Determine Regulatory Requirements for Hazardous Gas Detection Systems in San Jose, CASeptember 8, 2016 3:37 pm Leave your thoughts
Whenever new construction is put into place, one of the initial steps is hazard determination. This is the process of evaluating all evidence available to determine if there are hazardous chemicals present, pursuant to OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard.
These hazard determinations are conducted by skilled professionals with thorough training in the process. Under the HCS, any employer that processes, manufactures, formulates or repackages a hazardous chemical is considered a chemical manufacturer, and is required to perform these hazard determinations on all chemicals they either import or produce. Other employers and distributors might choose to conduct hazard determinations if they have any concerns about the accuracy and adequacy of hazard-related information for all chemicals they use in their business or distribute to other businesses.
There are two main resources needed to conduct hazard determination. First, there must be completely accurate and up-to-date information regarding all of the chemicals in question. Second, there must be a proper understanding and interpretation of this information to identify and properly document any hazards that are uncovered. Manufacturers and importers of any chemicals classified as hazardous are themselves responsible for ensuring all information provided to employees and any other users is thorough and accurate. To ensure this accuracy, anyone assigned to conduct the hazard determination must be able to conduct complete, effective data and literature retrieval.
Hazard determination processes
Whenever a company is engaged in the hazard determination process, it should be on the lookout for all potential chemical hazards and consequences, maximum response time requirements, the necessary safety functions and alarms, and the requirements for resetting or recovering from alarms.
The HCS defines a chemical as “any element, chemical compound, or mixture of elements and/or compounds.” Here’s a closer look at what this means:
- Element: An element is, of course, the most basic form of matter, with 118 elements in the periodic table. Common elements include Carbon, Oxygen, Aluminum, Nitrogen, Hydrogen, Mercury, Chlorine and many more.
- Chemical compound: Chemical compounds are substances consisting of two or more elements that have been bonded to each other. Their elements are always present in the exact same proportions. An example is Sodium Chloride (NaCl), also known as salt, and H2O, the chemical compound that makes up water.
- Mixture: A mixture is any combination of two or more chemicals if the combination was not either wholly or partially the result of a chemical reaction. There are countless examples of mixtures that could create chemicals. One could, for example, mix Sodium Chloride and water together, but the result would not be a new chemical compound.
To determine if the present chemical is a hazard, the HCS outlines “physical” and “health” hazard guidelines. A physical hazard is likely to contain a combustible liquid, compressed gas or other flammable or explosive substance. A health hazard is likely to contain a chemical that presents a risk for acute or chronic health risks.
For more information about the hazard determination process, contact MDC Systems Inc., your source for gas detection systems in San Jose, CA.
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