• Recent Quarry Fire – Could New GHS Labeling Have Prevented It?

    On January 30, 2014 a quarry in Branford, CT, near the Seton headquarters, experienced a fire that caused the evacuation of several hundred people in a one-mile area surrounding the quarry.

    Local fire officials claimed that employees of the quarry had accidentally started the fire by burning cardboard in which explosives had once been stored. The fire was expected to smolder for several days due to other combustible materials located at the site.

    Such incidents emphasize the need for employers to ensure containers that contain hazardous materials are properly labeled and that the information about the hazards are conveyed to employees so that they know how to properly handle, store and dispose of such materials.

    Under OSHA’s new GHS standard, such packages that once contained explosives would be labeled with the identify of the hazardous material, signal words such as “Danger”, hazard statements such as “Explosive, Keep fire Away” and pictograms to visually communicate the hazards such as those seen below.

    These labels and others that fulfill new GHS requirements are available from Seton.

    By ensuring the packages and containers are properly labeled, and the hazards of the contents effectively communicated, such incidents can easily be prevented.  The cost of signs and labels will always be cheaper than the cost associated with the incident if it were to occur.

    doug-miller

    About the Author
    Douglas D. Miller is the President of Occupational Safety Consultants, which was created in 2001. Doug has been involved in safety and health for over 15 years in various industries, including construction, maritime and general industry.For the past 13 years, Doug has taught for the Region II OSHA Education Centers and currently serves as course chairperson for 10 different courses, including the OSHA 500 and OSHA 501, and Construction and General Industry Train-the-Trainer programs.

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