Emergency Equipment & Safety Equipment For Chemical Safety

0
411
Emergency Equipment & Safety Equipment For Chemical Safety

Emergency Equipment & Safety Equipment For Chemical Safety

A person conducting a business or undertaking at a workplace that uses, handles, generates or stores hazardous chemicals must ensure that equipment is always available at the workplace for use in an emergency

The type of emergency equipment required to respond to an emergency, contain and clean up spills and assist workers in conducting emergency procedures safely will vary depending on the type and quantities of hazardous chemicals at the workplace

Equipment must be located so it is readily accessible for all workers if an emergency arises. If safety equipment is needed to respond in an emergency, you must ensure that it is provided, maintained and readily accessible at the workplace. Safety equipment for use with hazardous chemicals should be compatible with the hazardous chemicals they may come in contact with. For example, water fire extinguishers must not be used on oil fires.

Examples of emergency equipment that may be required in your workplace include:

  • over packs such as oversized drums containing leaking containers
  • absorbent material suitable for the chemical likely to be spilled
  • booms, plates and/or flexible sheeting for preventing spillage from entering drains and waterways
  • fire extinguishers
  • neutralising agents such as lime and soda ash
  • suitable pumps and hoses for removing spilled material
  • first aid kits (including antidotes for specific chemical exposures such as cyanide)
  • emergency showers and eyewash stations
  • hand tools such as mops, buckets, squeegees and bins
  • suitable protective clothing and equipment to protect the safety and health of personnel involved in the cleanup.

[better-ads type=”banner” banner=”508″ campaign=”none” count=”2″ columns=”1″ orderby=”rand” order=”ASC” align=”center” show-caption=”1″][/better-ads]

Fire Protection Systems

A person conducting a business or undertaking at a workplace must ensure that fire protection and firefighting equipment:

  • is designed and built for the types of hazardous chemicals at the workplace in quantities in which they are used, handled, generated or stored at the workplace
  • the conditions under which they are used, handled, generated or stored
  • is compatible with firefighting equipment used by primary emergency services organisations
  • is properly installed, tested and maintained
  • the latest testing date is recorded and test results kept until the next test is conducted.

Where large quantities of hazardous chemicals are used, handled, generated or stored in your workplace simple fire extinguishers may not be sufficient to deal with a fire. In these cases, you need to consider installing a fire protection system that is designed for the types and quantities of hazardous chemicals used, handled, generated or stored in your workplace.

When installing a fire protection system you must have regard to:

  • the fire load of the hazardous chemicals and other sources
  • the compatibility of the hazardous chemicals with other substances or mixtures
  • the compatibility of the equipment with equipment used by the primary emergency services organisation.

You should also consider the proximity of the workplace in relation to other workplaces or premises and any requirements under the Building Code of Australia.

The fire protection system should have the capacity to quickly control and extinguish any fire that occurs involving the hazardous chemicals. It should also effectively protect the hazardous chemicals stored within the workplace from any fire in adjacent properties.

If at any stage the fire protection or firefighting equipment becomes ineffective or inoperable, you must assess the implications of having an unserviceable or inoperative system and must control the risk with alternative measures. In these circumstances, you should make sure that alternative arrangements are made immediately.

[better-ads type=”banner” banner=”511″ campaign=”none” count=”2″ columns=”1″ orderby=”rand” order=”ASC” align=”center” show-caption=”1″][/better-ads]

If alternative resources cannot be obtained to provide the required level of protection, it may be necessary to cease operating until effective fire protection can be restored. You must ensure that the fire protection and firefighting equipment are returned to full operation as soon as possible.

Monitors and Alarms

Monitors and alarms can be critical to controlling an emergency situation as they allow the emergency or dangerous situation to be identified early and response actions initiated quickly. Effective alarm systems should:

  • activate automatically and be capable of being operated manually through the use of clearly identified alarm activators at convenient and safe locations, that are easily accessible to work areas
  • utilise alarm signals that are distinguishable from any other signal and are clearly audible throughout the premises
  • contain a visual component (for example, flashing lights) in situations where there are high noise levels or the use of protective clothing may prevent the recognition of an alarm signal
  • remain operable if the main power supply fails.

Monitors and alarms should be installed in accordance with manufacturers’ specifications. Fire alarms should be installed where fire control may require the direction of large quantities of firewater (or equivalent) at a fixed installation, with minimum exposure to risks for firefighters. Where large quantities of hazardous chemicals are involved, it is recommended that this is done in consultation with the relevant emergency services authority.

To ensure that monitors and alarms remain effective, they should be tested regularly.

Automatic Sprinkler Systems

Depending on the level of risk you may choose to install an automatic sprinkler system. Automatic sprinkler systems may allow the fire to be controlled almost immediately after it starts. However, they may not be suitable in all workplaces, for example where the use of water as the extinguishing agent is not appropriate because of the presence of chemicals that react with water. Automatic sprinkler systems may comprise:

  • individual-actuation sprinklers
  • deluge sprinklers
  • foam sprinklers
  • a combination of any of the above.

[better-ads type=”banner” banner=”513″ campaign=”none” count=”2″ columns=”1″ orderby=”rand” order=”ASC” align=”center” show-caption=”1″][/better-ads]

Water supply

A reliable water supply is required to ensure that the protection system remains operable in case of an emergency. The supply should be sufficient to supply both the internal fire protection equipment and additional equipment, used by the emergency services organisation controlling a fire at the premises.

Where sufficient supply is not available from the main water supply, it may be necessary to supplement this with additional water storage and/or pumps. If the local authorities permit it, water may be obtained from reliable alternative sources such as close by rivers and dams, using whatever resources are suitable.

The emergency services organisation that is attending a fire at the workplace should be requested to conduct regular checks on the adequacy of the local water supply and pressure within the workplace.

The Meaning Of Key Terms Of Chemical Safety

ADG Code means the Australian Code for the Transport of Dangerous Goods by Road and Rail, 7th edition, approved by the Australian Transport Council. The ADG Code is accessible at the National Transport Commission website: www.ntc.gov.au.

Article means a manufactured item, other than a fluid or particle, that is formed into a particular shape or design during manufacture and has hazard properties and a function that is wholly or partly dependent on the shape or design.

Biological monitoring means the measurement and evaluation of a substance, or its metabolites, in the body tissue, fluids or exhaled air of a person exposed to that substance or blood lead level monitoring.

Class of dangerous goods means the number assigned to the goods in the ADG Code indicating the hazard, or most predominant hazard, exhibited by the goods.

Combustible substance means a substance that is combustible and includes dust, fibres, fumes, mists or vapours produced by the substance.

Container means anything in or by which a hazardous chemical is, or has been, wholly or partly covered, enclosed or packed, including anything necessary for the container to perform its function as a container.

Correct classification means the set of hazard classes and hazard categories assigned to a hazardous chemical when it is correctly classified. Note: Part 1 of Schedule 9 sets out when a hazardous chemical is correctly classified.

Division of dangerous goods, means a number, in a class of dangerous goods, to which the dangerous goods are assigned in the ADG Code.

Exposure standard represents the airborne concentration of a particular substance or mixture that must not be exceeded. The exposure standard can be of three forms:

  • 8-ho2Q ur time-weighted average
  • peak limitation
  • short-term exposure limit.

Flashpoint means the lowest temperature (corrected to a standard pressure of 101.3 kPa) at which the application of an ignition source causes the vapours of a liquid to ignite under specified test conditions.

GHS means the ‘Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals, 3rd Revised Edition’, published by the United Nations as modified under Schedule 6 of the WHS Regulations.

Hazard means a situation or thing that has the potential to harm people, property or the environment. The GHS covers physicochemical, health and environmental hazards for hazardous chemicals.

Hazard category means a division of criteria within a hazard class in the GHS.

Hazard class means the nature of a physical, health or environmental hazard under the GHS. Note: This includes dangerous goods.

[better-ads type=”banner” banner=”508″ campaign=”none” count=”2″ columns=”1″ orderby=”rand” order=”ASC” align=”center” show-caption=”1″][/better-ads]

Hazard pictogram means a graphical composition, including a symbol plus other graphical elements, that is assigned in the GHS to a hazard class or hazard category.

Hazard statement means a statement assigned in the GHS to a hazard class or hazard category describing the nature of the hazards of a hazardous chemical including, if appropriate, the degree of hazard.

Hazardous chemical means a substance, mixture or article that satisfies the criteria for a hazard class in the GHS (including a classification referred to in Schedule 6 of the WHS Regulations), but does not include a substance, mixture or article that satisfies the criteria solely for one of the following hazard classes:

(a) acute toxicity—oral—category 5;

(b) acute toxicity—dermal—category 5;

(c) acute toxicity—inhalation—category 5;

(d) skin corrosion/irritation—category 3;

(e) serious eye damage/eye irritation— category 2B;

(f) aspiration hazard—category 2;

(g) flammable gas—category 2;

(h) acute hazard to the aquatic environment—category 1, 2 or 3;

(i) chronic hazard to the aquatic environment—category 1, 2, 3 or 4;

(j) hazardous to the ozone layer.

Note: The Schedule 6 tables replace some tables in the GHS.

Hazchem Code means ‘Hazchem Code’ under the ADG Code. Also known as the Emergency Action Code.

The label means written, printed or graphical information elements concerning a hazardous chemical that is affixed to, printed on, or attached to the container of a hazardous chemical.

[better-ads type=”banner” banner=”508″ campaign=”none” count=”2″ columns=”1″ orderby=”rand” order=”ASC” align=”center” show-caption=”1″][/better-ads]

Manufacture includes the activities of packing, repacking, formulating, blending, mixing, making, remaking and synthesizing of the chemical.

Mixture means a combination of or a solution composed of, two or more substances that do not react with each other.

Placard means a sign or notice:

  1. displayed or intended for display in a prominent place, or next to a container or storage area for hazardous chemicals at a workplace
  2. that contains information about the hazardous chemical stored in the container or storage area.

Placard quantity means the quantity referred to in Schedule 11 of the WHS Regulations, table 11.1, column 4 for that hazardous chemical. Note: This schedule has been replicated in Appendix D of this Code.

Precautionary Statement means a phrase prescribed by the GHS that describes measures that are recommended to be taken to prevent or minimise the adverse effects of exposure to a hazardous chemical or the improper handling of a hazardous chemical.

Substance means a chemical element or compound in its natural state or obtained or generated by a process:

  • including any additive necessary to preserve the stability of the element or compound and any impurities deriving from the process, but
  • excluding any solvent that may be separated without affecting the stability of the element or compound, or changing its composition.

Supply includes selling or transferring ownership or responsibility for a chemical.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here