Globally standards and regulations are being developed in order to protect and safely handle chemicals and hazardous material. Organisations can reduce the risks of accidents and injuries occurring due to these substances by compliant with them in true manners. For safe handling and usage of chemical substances, different regulations have existed in different regions of the world. Electronic Safety Data Sheet database of Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS), Occupational Safety and Health Administrations, Work Health Safety Procedure (WHS), Hazard Products Regulation (HPR) Schedule 1 and 1907/2007/European Union regulations are some of the regulations for safe chemical handling by complying which organisation can reduce the risks of accidents, and the global market is also opened for it.
Now the question arises, how to comply with these requirements?
To comply with any requirements, one should have a detailed and proper understanding of these requirements, which is not difficult in this 21st century due to the frequent use of information communication technology. In this regard, adequate education and training of the related regulations, either WHMIS, WHS, HPR, OSHA etc., are required. Education refers to general information about work, while training refers to in-depth work-related specific details. As far as WHMIS, proper training programs are run by the Canadian Center for Occupational and Safety. Similarly, in the case of EU REACH Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006, OSHA, WHS, HPR schedule 1, all regulations and related guidelines are available on the relevant websites. To compliant with these requirements, organisation organisations can follow these steps:
Availability of related guidelines
Documented guidelines of the related regulations are the first and foremost requirement for compliance. These guidelines are readily available on the related organisation or regulating body websites. Like for WHMIS 2015, refer to this weblink https://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/chemicals/whmis_ghs/education_training.html, similarly for EU REACH Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 https://www.chemsafetypro.com/Topics/EU/REACH_Regulation_EC_No_1907_2006.html and so on for OSHA & WHS. Guidelines and regulations are free of cost available on these websites.
Education and Training of applicable requirements
Availability of the documented guidelines is one thing, but understanding and education is the other one. Proper internal or external training, whichever is feasible or available from competent resources related to these guidelines, should be conducted so that the person can understand the requirements of these regulations, which will aid in compliance with the requirements. The training loop must be closed by evaluating the trainees through their practical work demonstration and understanding related to the work.
Implementation of guidelines
Implementation of the related training guidelines is the next step. Now, the related guidelines will be implemented based on the specified requirement either following WHS, HPR, OSHA, etc. For this purpose, one of the best ways is to identify the applicable requirements and prepare an implementation checklist accordingly. Pointwise compliance with the requirements will be done. This compliance could be in the form of defining characterisation, pictorial, related hazard marking etc., as per requirements.
Conduct compliance audits
Counter check of the compliance requirement for the safe side should be done in order to avoid any non-compliance from the specified requirements. This activity should be done by a competent authority having in-depth knowledge of these compliance requirements. Compliance evaluation with the specified requirements should be done by the person and provide its remarks to the related team whether it is related to the compliance or non-compliance.
Improve the shortcomings
The responsible person should take action against the non-compliance remarks of the internal auditors or the person authorised for this activity. This action should be in the form of correction and compliance with the specified requirements. After compliance with the specified requirement, a counter check of the non-conformance should be done by the competent authority in order to avoid any further issue either at the customer site or by legal bodies.
Compliance with the Electronic Safety Data Sheet database of Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS), Occupational Safety and Health Administrations, Work Health Safety Procedure (WHS), Hazard Products Regulation (HPR) Schedule 1 and 1907/2007/European Union regulations are continuous cycle as a time to time these requirements as updated so again the above cycle i-v will repeat for the implementation process. Now, the world is moving toward harmonisation, and GHS global harmonisation standards are one of the results.