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News | Jan. 31, 2017

Safety: Can a picture save 1,000 burns?

By Thomas Perry DCMA Public Affairs

FORT LEE, Va., Jan. 31, 2017 — Defense Contract Management Agency’s Safety and Occupational Health Division is emphasizing risk management program rules concerning chemical safety in their most-recent safety gram.

According to Raymond Corral, the agency’s SOH Eastern and Pacific region manager, these rules direct efforts to protect the lives of the public, personnel who work around chemicals and those who respond to chemical-related emergencies.

In the last ten years, more than 1,500 incidents were reported by affected facilities. These incidents were responsible for causing nearly 60 deaths, 17,000 injuries, almost half a million evacuations, and more than $2 billion in property damage.

Corral said awareness is especially important for DCMA team members who often enter contractor facilities in the performance of their duties.

A few important GHS facts from Occupational Safety and Health Administration:
—The GHS guidelines specify a standard set of safety labels, chemical classification terminology and safety data sheets. Labels were redesigned with six elements relating to chemical classification and language.
—The United States was one of the first countries to adopt GHS guidelines in 2012. OSHA incorporated these into the Hazard Communication Standard, HazCom 2012. Companies in the US had to comply with the OSHA/GHS by June 2015 and submit required Safety Data Sheets in the specified format.
—Compliance with GHS can prevent fatalities and injuries in industry. It may also improve efficiency, facilitate trade, give reliable and accurate data on hazardous chemicals, and improve working conditions.
—Labels are important and must show the identity of chemicals, hazard statements, signal words, symbols and precautionary statements without any ambiguity.

To learn more about chemical safety, standards and rules, click here (login required). To discover more SOH Safety Grams, click here (login required).