3

General Safety Practices

3.1 Safe Chemical Handling

3.1.1 Introduction

Health and safety standards have been established throughout the world to protect the safety, health and welfare of people engaged in work or employment. These standards also protect co-workers, family members, employers, customers, nearby communities, and other members of the public that may be impacted by the workplace environment. In the United States, several federal agencies, including the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH), the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the World Health Organization (WHO), have developed and recommended health and safety standards. These standards are internationally recognized as a basis to provide safe levels of protection for workers. This subsection provides a summary of the standards as recommended by the above agencies.

3.1.2 Reference Standards

3.1.2.1 Explanation of Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS)

A material safety data sheet or MSDS is a multi-page document that contains information on the safe handling procedures and practices for chemical products. Employers should maintain a file of MSDS for all chemicals handled at a site, train and educate workers on understanding how to use the information in an MSDS, and make the file available and accessible ...

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