Monday, January 26, 2015

What is GHS?


The use of chemicals is key piece to businesses and economies worldwide. In fact, chemicals are all around us and directly affect our food, lifestyle, and health. It is because of their widespread use that the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS), was developed. According to, the GHS is a system for standardizing and harmonizing the classification and labeling of chemicals. In addition to the labels, (Material) Safety Data Sheets (SDS) may also be required to provide information on potential hazards and how to work safely with the chemical product.

Hazards or dangers associated with certain chemicals are classified into three main GHS classifications.  These are the GHS Physical Hazards (explosives, flammable gases, self-reacting substances, etc.), GHS Health and Environment Hazards (eye effects, skin irritation, sensitization, etc.), and environmental hazards such as chemicals hazardous to the Aquatic Environment. These are however very flexible and multiple classes can be administered to certain hazards or dangers.

The next step after classifying a chemical is to communicate the hazard(s) to the respective market. This is where the SDS and labels come into play. They provide the hazardous properties of chemicals that may pose a health, physical or environmental hazard during normal handling or use, according the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). OSHA also provides the following standardized label elements to be included in the GHS: 

  • Symbols (hazard pictograms): Convey health, physical and environmental hazard information, assigned to a GHS hazard class and category.
  • Signal Words: "Danger" or "Warning" are used to emphasize hazards and indicate the relative level of severity of the hazard, assigned to a GHS hazard class and category.
  • Hazard Statements: Standard phrases assigned to a hazard class and category that describe the nature of the hazard. 
  • Precautionary Statements and Pictograms: Measures to minimize or prevent adverse effects.
  • Product Identifier (ingredient disclosure): Name or number used for a hazardous product on a label or in the SDS. 
  • Supplier identification: The name, address and telephone number should be provided on the label.
  • Supplemental information: non-harmonized information.

There are a multitude of benefits that come from utilizing GHS in the chemical world such as reduced costs due to fewer accidents and illnesses, as well as improving a businesses image and credibility to list a couple. By having the information available on hazardous properties of chemicals, human health and the environment can be rightfully protected. There will be a greater understanding of potential hazards, which will result in safer use of chemicals in the workplace and home. 

Thank you for your time and attention.  Let’s make it safe this Monday.

Kolton Larson
Demand Generation Specialist, Lift’n Buddy, a Southworth Company

Monday, January 19, 2015

Keep Your Garage Running Smooth


Does your workplace have a garage or vehicle service area? Garages can be extremely dangerous due to the many different types of hazards present. Large moving vehicles are only that start of the dangers that you might encounter in a typical garage. Most garages contain some form crushing hazard from lifting equipment such as a vehicle hoist or floor jack. Vehicles require maintenance on a regular basis to continue running properly which means there will be numerous chemicals such as motor oil, solvents, or gasoline.  Make sure you keep your employees and customers safe by following these simple tips.

Stay Organized: With an abundance of sharp, heavy, and flammable objects the lack of organization is the leading cause of garage injuries.

Keep Hazards Separated: Designate separate areas for operations such as welding, cleaning, painting, lubricating, and battery maintenance.   

Good Ventilation: Running engines produce carbon monoxide which can lead to headaches, sleepiness, and even death.

Adequate Lighting: A well-lit garage will make spotting dangerous objects and areas much easier. 

Emergency Response: Keep first aid kits fully stocked and easily accessible. Also have fire extinguishers, eyewash stations, and emergency showers available.

Take Out The Trash: Empty trash containers regularly and discard rags or towels soaked with flammable materials in approved metal containers.

Wash Your Hands: Provide a clean lunchroom and washroom that are separate from the work area to prevent harmful contaminants from your hands going into your mouth. 

Proper Tool Usage: Only use tools for their intended purpose and regularly inspected for damage and proper maintenance requirements. 

Attire: Requiring steel toed shoes, safety glasses, long sleeve shirts, and gloves in work areas can steeply reduce the amount of injuries reported. 

Garages can be a dangerous place, which is why it is important to practice garage safety. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, automotive service technicians and mechanics have a much higher rate of injuries compared with the national average. If you follow these safety tips it will keep your garage and your vehicles running smooth.

Thank you for your time and attention.  Let’s make it safe this Monday.

Brad Lindemann
Sales Coordinator, Lift’n Buddy, a Southworth Company

Monday, January 5, 2015

It's Time For A Nap


When I was younger I always thought days off during the holidays were supposed to be a time to kick back, relax and catch up on some much needed sleep… I’m not sure about the rest of you but I feel like I need some time off to recover from my time off. Did anyone have last minute shopping to do in stores packed with other last minute shoppers? How many people had their in-laws stay with them a few too many days? Or did you take the family on an 8 hour road trip to Grandma’s house and needed to stop every 30 miles for a bathroom break? Holidays are a very stressful time and it is very likely that you’re more sleep deprived now than before they started. 

With the world more connected than ever, businesses are expected to operate around the clock. This means employees are expected to work longer hours, work from home at night, on weekends, and during holidays. This makes it difficult for individuals and families to maintain a healthy sleep schedule. When holidays are thrown into the mix our routines tend to get completely messed up. 

Certain jobs demand your alertness and full concentration. Operators of public transportation, airline pilots and truck drivers are just a few of the jobs that require you to be fully awake and aware. It has been determined by investigators that sleep deprivation played a major role in the Chernobyl nuclear meltdown, Exxon Valdez oil spill and the space shuttle Challenger explosion. These three high profile incidents alone cost people their lives, billions in damages and incalculable environmental damage. Your job might not be as crucial as controlling a nuclear power plant, but a lack of sleep will have a major effect on your performance. Lack of concentration and memory lapses will increase the risk of accidents while decreasing your efficiency and output. You will be a less effective team member and your co-workers will notice your irritability level and mood swings.

There are ways to get back on track and achieve a better night’s rest. Grasping your circadian rhythm is one of the most important strategies for achieving a good night’s sleep. This means that you need to set a regular bed time and wake up time and adhere to it daily (this includes weekends). If you stick to a routine you’ll find that you’ll wake up naturally as opposed waking up to an alarm clock. If you still need an alarm and feel groggy in the morning you may need to set an earlier bed time. Make sure you get plenty of sun light during the day and try to exercise a little to tire yourself out. Avoiding large meals, caffeine and alcohol in the evenings might also help you avoid those restless nights.  You can easily educate yourself online by going to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) or National Sleep Foundation (NSF) websites.

Although January 1st has come and gone it’s never too late to make a 2015 resolution to get more sleep. Your friends, family and coworkers will appreciate your new restful attitude. By the holiday season next year you will be rested and ready to tackle those delightful in-laws, crowded shopping malls and long car rides.

Thank you for your time and attention.  Let’s make it safe this Monday.

Brad Lindemann
Sales Coordinator, Lift’n Buddy, a Southworth Company