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Construction Safety Matters: Hazard Communication Programme

As part of your job role, you may be required to work with dangerous chemicals on-site.  is dedicated to ensuring your safety, so we have a Hazard Communication Programme in place. The goal of this programme is to make you aware of chemicals that you may be in contact with on-site and to help you understand the potential hazards.

Safety Data Sheets

One vital aspect of a Hazard Communication Programme is the Safety Data Sheet (SDS). This sheet tells you everything you need to know about a specific chemical, including:

  • The health hazards of the chemical
  • How flammable the product is and at what temperature it may ignite
  • The reactivity of the chemical with water or other agents
  • What personal protective equipment (PPE) is needed to use the chemical

The SDS form can be lengthy, which is why we also provide SDS Information Review Forms for the chemicals that you may encounter. Though you should also know where the complete SDSs are and should refer to them when specific details are needed, the Information Review Form offers a simper version of a chemical’s essential information. Other important aspects of the Hazard Communication Programme include:

  • Accurate labelling of containers that contain chemicals, including warning labels when applicable
  • Ensuring that labels are not removed
  • Employee training in accordance with your job duties relating to chemicals

Important Questions to Ask

Through our Hazard Communication Programme, every employee should learn the following information:

  • What chemicals might I use on-site?
  • Where are the SDSs kept for the chemicals that I am exposed to?
  • What kinds of hazards do I face when I work with a particular chemical?
  • Do I know the emergency procedures to follow if a spill occurs?

Though it is our goal to teach you the information you need, it is your responsibility to learn it and ask questions if necessary. You should follow all safety procedures when working around chemicals, keep in mind potential hazards and always wear the appropriate PPE.

Achieving Safety Together

It may seem overwhelming to learn about all the chemicals you may handle or be exposed to, but it is important knowledge that all workers should have. It is our responsibility to provide access to appropriate SDSs even while at a job site, so be sure to reference them if you forget or have yet to learn about a certain chemical.

SDS Information Review Form Template

SDS Information Review Form (Convert information from the chemical’s SDS)

Chemical common name: ______________________________ Review date

Also known as:

 Hazard Rating Index(Fill in from key below)
 Health Hazard Rating 
 Flammability Hazard Rating 
 Reactivity Hazard Rating 
 Protective Equipment To Be Used 

Hazard Rating Index Key:

Health Hazard:

4 – EXTREME:Highly toxic: may be fatal on short-term exposure. Special protective equipment required
3 – SERIOUS:Toxic: avoid inhalation or skin contact
2 – MODERATE:Moderately toxic: may be harmful if inhaled or absorbed
1 – LIGHT:Slightly toxic: may cause slight irritation
0 – MINIMAL:All chemicals have some degree of toxicity

Flammability Hazard:

4 – EXTREME:Extremely flammable gas or liquid, flash point below 23° C
3 – SERIOUS:Flammable: flash point 23° C to 38° C
2 – MODERATE:Combustible: requires moderate heating to ignite. Flash point 38° C to 93° C
1 – LIGHT:Slightly combustible: requires strong heating to ignite
0 – MINIMAL:Will not burn under normal conditions

Reactivity Hazard:

4 – EXTREME:Explosive at room temperature
3 – SERIOUS:May explode, if shocked, heated under confinement or mixed with water
2 – MODERATE:Unstable, may react with water
1 – LIGHT:May react if heated or mixed with water
0 – MINIMAL:Normally stable, does not react with water

Protective Equipment (circle all that apply):

A – Safety Glasses

B – Safety Glasses, Gloves

C – Safety Glasses, Gloves, Synthetic Apron

D – Face Shield, Gloves, Synthetic Apron

E – Safety Glasses, Gloves, Dust Respirators

F – Safety Glasses, Gloves, Synthetic Apron, Dust Respirators

G – Safety Glasses, Gloves, Vapour Respirator

H – Splash Goggles, Gloves, Synthetic Apron, Vapour Respirators

I – Safety Glasses, Gloves, Dust and Vapour Respirator

J – Splash Goggles, Gloves, Synthetic Apron, Dust and Vapour Respirators

K – Air Line Hood or Mask, Gloves, Full Suit, Boots

X – Ask your supervisor for special handling instructions.

Z – None Required

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The content of this document is of general interest and is not intended to apply to specific circumstances. It does not purport to be a comprehensive analysis of all matters relevant to its subject matter. The content should not, therefore, be regarded as constituting legal advice and not be relied upon as such. In relation to any particular problem which they may have, readers are advised to seek specific advice. Further, the law may have changed since first publication and the reader is cautioned accordingly. © 2010-2013, 2019 Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved.

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