While choosing the correct chemical cabinets goes a long way to ensuring safe chemical storage, having the correct documentation is vital. Having the correct chyemical safety and storage documentation not only helps your business to comply with legal requirements but it helps youto better manage your workplace and increases security. We’ve compiled a list of 5 essential pieces of documentation you should have in your workplace.
- Safety Data Sheets
Safety data sheets are an essential piece of documentation, which are required by law when working with chemicals. These include information that is vital both to prevent and respond to accidents, such as chemical classifications, dangers and anything that may cause them to have an adverse reaction. (Full details of what should be included in an MSDS can be found online at REACH.) MSDS should be supplied by your chemical supplier. An excellent resource is MSDSonline, which offers a large database of material safety data sheets in its archives.
- Chemical Storage Logs
All storage areas should have logs to keep track of the chemical’s movement throughout your workplace. These should detail exactly what chemicals are stored within, as well as their classification. When any chemicals are taken out of, or placed within, the storage area, they should be detailed on the log. This should include the time, date, the name of the employee handling the chemicals and the purpose for which they were moved.
- Chemical Assessment Documents
Under the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Act (2002), employers are required to control substances that are hazardous to health. They must identify dangers, and take all possible steps to create a safe workplace. Moreover, if you have more than five employees, you are required to record your site assessment. When drafting this, ensure you analyse substances, as well as any processes, tasks or jobs that might be hazardous (like procedures that cause dust or fumes to be emitted). If you require help drafting or completing this, chemical safety consultants, such as Chilworth Technology, are available to help.
- Accident Book
An accident book records all incidents that occur on site, helping to implement processes that prevent these from reoccurring. They should include the name of the injured or involved employee, the task they were undertaking when the accident occurred and any contributing factors. These should be reviewed regularly to ensure the best practices are in place. These also help draft chemical assessment documents.
- Emergency Response Plan
The emergency response plan for your workplace should be clearly explained to all employees before they begin work, but documentation should also be supplied to help refresh memories and clarify points. This should be distributed among employees and also displayed at an easy to see point on site, to keep it at the forefront of their minds.