Some businesses and hardware stores now have a better understanding about the importance of chemical labelling and having an emergency response plan in the event of an emergency.

Chief Technical Officers for Laboratory Services and Specificiations, Hadyn Rhynd and Fabian Scott, respectively, outlined the steps to be taken during their presentation at the Small Business Association’s (SBA) seminar, recently.?? The event was held at the SBA’s Pelican Industrial Estate, St. Michael, headquarters.

In his presentation, Mr. Scott stressed that in keeping with national standards, all hazardous chemicals and dangerous goods must have a pictorial marking affixed with a signal word (s) or a dangerous goods class label, such as flammable liquid or corrosive.

He further suggested that the chemical waste matter must be properly identified, and the concentration of its constituents clearly stated on the package or container.??

Mr. Scott listed training in hazard information; risk management and continuous education for consumers, as the steps to be taken to overcome the challenges of inadequate chemical labeling.

He also outlined the reasons for adherence to the United Nations Globally Harmonised System of Classification and handling of dangerous chemicals (GHS) requirements.

The Chief Technical Officer added: "The information required on a GHS label would include signal words about the level of the hazard; a hazard statement; precautionary statements or pictograms; the product identifier and supplier information."

In Mr. Rhynd’s address, he mapped out the strategies that must be followed during an emergency. "You should render assistance to persons involved and remove them from exposure to further injury if necessary. You must also warn personnel in adjacent areas of any potential hazard to their safety and administer first-aid if breathing has stopped."

He pointed out: "In case of a fire, notify the Barbados Fire Service … if there are portable extinguishers available, the institution must use their extinguisher to control the blaze in the case of minor fires, until the fire officers arrive on the scene. In the case of a chemical fire, the correct type of extinguisher used to put out the blaze is also important.

As an added safety precaution, the employees must be educated on how to use a fire extinguisher and all companies must have a safety procedures document," Mr. Rhynd advised.

The Chief Technical Officer also discussed the rudiments of the laboratory safety chart, general emergency procedures and the creation of a laboratory emergency plan.

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