It is your right to know the hazards involved with your duties. Be sure to pay close attention to the following information.
Some chemicals are more toxic than others. Just a little bit of some chemicals entering your body could harm you. Others are much less toxic and it would take great amounts entering your body to do any harm.
A poisonous chemical will not do you any harm, obviously, if it does not enter your body.
Inhalation is typically the most common way chemicals can enter the body in a work situation. Skin absorption is less common, but can occur with some solvents and pesticides. Ingestion is usually not a major problem in the workplace except in certain situations.
Labels are sketchy and don’t have all the information about the hazards of chemicals in a product. MSDSs and SDSs usually provide much more information, although it may not always be easy to understand.
Container labels provide some important information – pay attention for signal words such as DANGER or WARNING and also look for pictograms like the skull and crossbones and flames.
NFPA 704 has been used since the 50s and is very recognizable. Its scale has 4 as the most significant hazard and 0 as the least. It also breaks down hazards into different categories like health, flammability, and reactivity.
HMIS is almost the same as NFPA 704, except that it includes what types of PPE is required when handling the a chemical.
The GHS, or global harmonizing system, will be replacing NFPA and HMIS by the year 2015. Its use of pictograms and SDSs instead of MSDSs, as well as the new hazard rating seen above, is meant to standardize warning labels across the globe. Note the difference in hazard classifications.
It is worth mentioning twice: be aware of what rating system is being used. It could save your life.
The chemical hazard communication standard requires that producers and importers of hazardous chemicals develop Material Safety Data Sheets (now SDSs) for their products. These MSDSs (SDSs) contain information on the hazardous chemicals in a product and come with every chemical product we use.
Each SDS is divided into 16 different categories. Some categories of note are #3 - Hazards Identification; #4 - First Aid measures; and #5 - Fire Fighting Measures.
SDS binders include very important information and you should take the time to read them and familiarize yourself with how to use them.
If you are asked to do a task that requires chemicals that you are not familiar with, make sure that you read the SDS and have all the appropriate PPE. If you have any questions or concerns, bring them up with your supervisor before you begin work.
Don’t ignore any unusual or stronger than normal odors. This may indicate a leak or release, or if you are wearing a respirator, it may indicate a poor fit, a leak, or a used-up cartridge. Large leaks, spills, or releases of a chemical may overwhelm your respirator. Don’t be a hero, get help and proceed cautiously or let the experts clean up the spill. Be sure to contact your supervisor immediately if you detect a hazardous chemical.
You need to how to detect the presence or release of a hazardous chemical. Here are the primary ways to do so.
Obviously, not all sickness is from exposure to chemicals. But if you know you have inhaled a chemical, spilled a chemical on your skin, or ingested some and you feel sick, we want to know. Our intent is to have a safe and healthy workplace and we want to fix any problems. [Add your company policies here.]
The ICP is important to know. You will undergo a detailed training to familiarize yourself with this plan. In an emergency, always be calm and listen to your supervisor’s instructions.
Here are some things to be aware of at Aurora. Each department has different hazards, and if you are ever moved to a new department you may require HAZCOM training specific to the hazards in that department. Remember, if you feel you need new or additional PPE, ask your supervisor.
Aurora Innovations - Iii. hazcom training for new hires
Understanding the GHS,
MSDS, NFPA, and other
Aurora Innovations, Inc.
Hazard communication (or “HAZCOM”)
is our program where you learn about
the hazardous chemicals used in our
We will also train you on how to protect
yourself from the effects of these
HAZCOM training is required by federal
and state OSHA.
A “hazardous chemical” is any chemical
that can do harm to your body.
Most industrial chemicals can harm you
at some level.
The level of harm depends on how
much of the chemical
enters your body.
Effect of Hazardous Chemicals
on the Body
The effect a certain chemical has on the
body depends on several factors:
• The physical form of the chemical
• How the chemical enters the body
• The amount of chemical that actually enters
the body (dose)
• How toxic (poisonous) the chemical is
How Chemicals Enter the Body
• Don’t eat any food that has come into contact with a
• Be aware of dusts and mists in the air. This is the most
common method of entry.
• The chemical soaks through the skin-wear appropriate
There are three routes of entry:
There are three primary
The product label
The product SDS
Hazards (NFPA, HMIS,
or GHS ratings)
First Aid measures
emergency contact info
The label found on a container shipped directly
from the manufacturer
According to the Global Harmonizing System
(GHS), primary labels include:
1. The name of the chemical
2. A signal word
3. A hazard statement
4. A precautionary statement
5. The address and phone number of the
Secondary and Stationary Labels
Secondary and stationary labels provide
much of the same information, as well as the
Unless you work in the lab or in liquid
production, you will not be handling any
hazardous materials as part of normal
Should you be asked to perform a special task that requires
hazardous material, be sure to read the label on the material,
read the SDS, or ask a supervisor for direction.
Hazard Rating Systems
Rating systems tell you how dangerous a
There are three primary hazard rating
1. NFPA 704
NFPA 704 Rating System
0 = Minimal
1 = Slight
2 = Moderate
3 = Serious
4 = Severe
Intended to provide
with hazard information
Hazardous Materials Information System (HMIS)
March 20, 202014
Global Harmonizing System (GHS)
The GHS is different than other rating systems.
1 = Severe
2 = Serious
3 = Moderate
4 = Slight
5 = Minimal
Hazard Rating Comparison
Ranked 0 - 4
4 = HIGH hazard
Ranked 0 - 5
5 = LOW hazard
Know which system is being used!
Material Safety Data Sheets
A safety data sheet, or “SDS”, is an
information sheet on a product which lists:
1. Which chemicals are in the product
2. What the hazards of the chemical are
3. How to protect yourself from such hazards
Safety Data Sheets
Safety data sheets have 16 different sections.
Section 4 – First aid measures
Section 5 – Firefighting measures
Section 8 – Personal protective equipment
1. Chemical product and company information
2. Composition/information on ingredients
3. Hazards identification
4. First aid measures
5. Firefighting measures
6. Accidental release measures
7. Handling and storage
8. Exposure controls/personal protection
9. Physical and chemical properties
10. Stability and reactivity
11. Toxicological information
12. Name, address, and telephone number of manufacturer
SDS Elements, Cont.
13. Disposal considerations
14. Transport information
15. Regulatory information
16. Other information
SDS Binders and Important Information
Aurora Innovations has several SDS binders, which include:
1. A chemical inventory list
Lists every chemical used by Aurora Innovations, where they
are used, and emergency information
Contains a table of contents in order to help you find the
1. An SDS for every chemical used by Aurora Innovations
2. A copy of Aurora Innovations’ written Hazard Communication
The SDS binders are available to all employees – you are
encouraged to familiarize yourself with them.
The location of the SDS binder nearest the mixline is next to
the shipping office and break room.
Non-Routine Tasks Involving
During the course of your employment at Aurora
Innovations, you may be assigned tasks that are not part of
your normal routine.
Never handle a chemical if you don’t know what it is!
Employees with concerns are encouraged to approach management and
discuss issues. Any information offered by employees regarding hazardous
materials, working conditions, or adherence to safe practices will be treated
in a confidential manner when appropriate. It is the intent of this hazard
communication program to conform with the law by informing and
protecting the health and safety of our employees working with hazardous
In the case of a leak or spill,
protect yourself by:
• Informing your supervisor
immediately of unusual
odors, spills, or releases
• Leaving an area of a large
spill or chemical release
Detecting the Presence or Release
of Hazardous Materials
Does something look out of the ordinary?
Are there any abnormal smells? “Sweet”
or “good” does not mean that it is safe.
Do you feel strange, sick, or different?
If you have been exposed to a chemical and
Let your supervisor know
Find out the name of the chemical
Follow the first aid directions in the SDS
Get medical attention as needed
Check your PPE before going back to the area
Emergency Action Plan
In the event of a major emergency, follow the
Aurora Innovations Emergency Action Plan.
This is a written plan detailing emergency protocol.
A copy of this plan is displayed at several locations around
Aurora, as well as the main office.
You can also find emergency contact numbers with the ICP.
Bat guano can contain fungal spores. Keep it always from your
eyes and mouth. If you must handle it directly, wear a dust mask.
Some of our liquids (like pH Up or pH Down) in the warehouse can
be skin irritants. You should avoid skin contact and ingestion. If you
encounter a spill, tell a manager, get the appropriate PPE, and
clean it up in a safe manner. (Ask to see the spill clean up
Some hazardous materials are stored in the Building B storage
area. Do not handle these materials unless you have received
specific training on how to do so safely.
Always read the SDS before handling an unfamiliar chemical or
Summary of Key Points
Do not handle a hazardous material unless you have been
trained how to do so.
Always wear appropriate PPE when handling hazardous
Read labels and the SDS.
Be aware of the different hazard rating systems.
Know how to detect the presence of hazardous materials (sight,
odor, and sensation).
Follow the integrated contingency plan (ICP).
Always speak to a manager if you have any safety concerns.
Things to Remember
The primary label comes from the manufacture and contains
On the GHS system, 1 = severe, 5 = minimal
On NFPA 704 system, 4 = severe, 0 = minimal
There are 16 sections on an SDS.
Secondary labels have PPE requirements.
Do not store chemicals where you eat.
Keep container labels legible.
Your primary means of HAZCOM information are: