Signs, Signs, Signs

“Signs, signs, everywhere there’s signs.
Blockin’ out the scenery; breaking my mind.
Do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the signs?”

According to the words of “Signs” a song by the Five Man Electrical Band there are signs everywhere. Sometimes they are there for a good reason, such as to comply with a law, other times to voice opinions, and yet other times to advertise products or political agendas. In OSHA, and if you think that is a small town in Wisconsin you are in trouble, we find requirements under both Part 1910 and Part 1926 for regulatory signs.

For those of you not familiar with Part 1926, it deals with the Safety and Health Regulations for Construction. Signage is found in OSHA under Part 1926.200 and gets pretty specific about requirements. Topics include; Danger, Caution, Exit, Safety and Directional Signs. In addition to the signage regulations you also have warning and advisory tags and “Safety Motto” signs. Pretty soon you begin to have sensory overload for your brain to try and absorb. So let’s try to simplify things for you.

View all of ICC’s signage »

Danger signs are red and shall be used only where an immediate hazard exists.
Caution signs are yellow and shall be used only to warn against potential hazards or to caution against unsafe practices.
Exit signs are white with red lettering in a Continue Reading…

GHS in the Workplace

The new Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling (GHS) is now ready for worldwide implementation. Many countries have already adopted the GHS, while the USA and Canada are just beginning the task of harmonizing existing regulatory regimes within the GHS framework. Whereas the question on most people’s minds these days is “When will GHS be implemented?” concern should focus on how GHS will affect our commerce and safety in our workplaces. Target audiences for the GHS include consumers, workers, and emergency responders. GHS will benefit these folks. Though for the employer or Environmental, Health & Safety (EHS) Manager, once you’ve educated yourself in GHS principles, expect to spend much time sifting through the data needed to correctly categorize chemicals and their mixtures per the new GHS criteria. You should also expect to spend much money and time applying new GHS labels to chemical containers, reformat existing MSDSs to the sixteen sections Safety Data Sheet (SDS) and retrain workers how to interpret GHS hazard information. Do not expect a GHS shift to magically make your workplace safer, since GHS is not intended to harmonize risk assessment procedures or risk management. This gradual process of GHS assimilation should however eventually help in the decisions process.

The advantage of GHS is the way it identifies the intrinsic hazards found in chemical substances and mixtures and conveys this hazard information Continue Reading…