Crash Course – MSDS 101

Meeting with Terry

I’m about to give Terry an surprise inspection! Not really. We have an appointment.

This blog post contains everything you ever wanted to know about MSDS, but were afraid to ask. Actually, this is my first introduction to MSDS and I couldn’t have asked for a better collaborator and instructor than Terry Stanford, our very own Capital Projects Documentation Manager.

MSDS with Terry

Terry wrote the books on MSDS. Not really, but he does oversee all of the Facilities MSDS books.

First things first. MSDS stands for Material Safety Data Sheets and you can find out all about the history here, thanks to our friends at Wikipedia. The short version is that MSDS provides workers with safety information in working with chemicals on our campus. It’s part of a requirement (it’s the law folks), from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), that all employees have access to emergency data.

MSDS Sheets

Terry oversees all of the physical MSDS books within facilities and is currently making huge efforts moves to put that information online, available for all employees, through MSDSonline. In fact, he’s recently added over 300 of these documents (via MSDSonline searches and by scanning local copies) specifically for his department. By his estimates that only covers about 35% of the chemicals and products contained within facilities and he’s working hard to see that percentage rise.

Lots of MSDS sheets to go!

Just some of the many, many products that must be accounted for within MSDS.

Eventually, all of the documents and procedures within the facilities MSDS books, as well as products not yet in the system, will be contained in the online tool. Getting to that point will provide unlimited access for all employees, ensure transparency across departments, and allow consolidated reporting if we are ever audited.

This is just the beginning though. As Terry works to get me up to speed on best practices within his own department and as I learn the capabilities of the online system, we hope to work with other departments to utilize this same tool.

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Lab Techs School Toya

Safety No-No 1

Remember to wear your goggles correctly and button your smock!

Always be cautious when working around chemicals as there are dangers that could exist, and following chemical safety tips and rules, makes using chemicals much safer. It is also important to always remember to be cautious when you are working with chemicals and products containing them.

Remember to wear gloves, goggles, and practice safe protocols while conducting experiments.

Remember to wear gloves, goggles, and practice safe protocols while conducting experiments.

Corrosive chemicals have a variety of uses, including making new chemicals and products. However, they can cause chemical burns to the eyes and skin, with a possibility of disfigurement, blindness and even death.

No one should be eating around chemicals...Toya!

No one should be eating around chemicals…Toya!

Workers that use chemicals in their jobs must use the proper personal protective equipment like, a protective smock, eye protection and chemical-resistant gloves to protect themselves from a chemical splash when pouring from or filling containers and when transporting chemicals.

Finally, Toya follows safe lab practices.

Finally, Toya follows safe lab practices.

Tips

  1. Minimize activities with open containers, and establish safe work practices to prevent splashes or release of chemicals.
  2. Make sure the emergency eyewash and shower is immediately accessible and can be activated in one second or less.
  3. Secure lids prior to transporting chemicals.
  4. Assess all Personal Protective Equipment to ensure proper selection and use for the type of job.
  5. Use chemical-splash goggles and a face shield instead of safety glasses.
Special thanks to Jacqueline Baltunis and Chi Tran for demonstrating proper lab safety techniques.

Special thanks to Jacqueline Baltunis and Chi Tran for demonstrating proper lab safety techniques.

Coming to a Wall Near You!

First stop, Enumclaw Campus! Krispy Kremes and posters in hand!

Why is HR putting up new, 2015 labor law posters across main and branch campuses? Employers in the United States are required to display the most current federal and state labor laws. Workplace posters are important because they inform workers and employers of their rights and responsibilities. These posters include the current minimum wage, Job Safety and Health Law, Employee Polygraph Protection Act, Family and Medical Leave (FMLA), Uniformed Services Employment Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO), and more. If you have questions regarding these laws, please contact Employee and Labor Relations Managers, Barbara Iribarren and Chernenko Wheatley.

Betsy Williams and Beckie Jensen, our first recipients of the 2015 labor posters!

Betsy Williams and Beckie Jensen, our first recipients of the 2015 labor posters!

Links to each poster are listed below and will be coming soon to the GatorNet.

It's official! Enumclaw is ready for 2015!

It’s official! Enumclaw is ready for 2015!