#CommercialPaintersSydney – Workplace Health and Safety – Hazardous substances Part 1 Aug 7, 2014 Author Sydney Painters; bloomin


Hazardous substances

health and safty 2 

Many substances used at the workplace have the potential to cause injury or illness. Increasingly, new chemicals, solvents and other substances-continue to enter the workplace. A hazardous substance can easily be identified by the label – e.g. hazchem, dangerous goods classification.

Hazardous substances can come as a solid, liquid or gas. It is believed that there are many deaths each year, which are not correctly identified as being caused by exposure to hazardous substances at work. This figure could be as high as 4 – 5,times the reported deaths. Deaths may happen years after exposure to hazardous substances.

What are Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS)?

MSDS’s, are a convenient, standard form of providing a basic set of occupational health and safety information. It is important to know this information for all the paints, coatings and other chemical products or substances being worked with.

An MSDS should give the following information for each product:

• The name of the paint or coating product.

• The name, address and telephone number of the supplier.

• The chemical ingredients.

• Health effects (both short and long term).

• Fire/explosion information.

• Minimum requirements for safe handling and exposure control.

• First aid information.

• Storage and transport information.

• Spills and disposal information.

• Emergency information for firefighters.

• Contact details for further information.

What are MSDS’s used for?

All products used or stored should have their own MSDS. MSDS’s should be real BEFORE work commences, in order to advise the user of:

  • The hazards of the paints and coatings being worked with. Each person has a right to know this.
  • Minimum requirements for safe use, exposure and control measures (safe work practices) to minimize the risk to self and others

Who should get MSDS’s?

The purchaser of the material should obtain MSDS’s from the manufacturers. All reputable paint manufacturers prepare MSDS’s on their products and, together with their suppliers, should ensure that they are provided to customers if that product Is to be used at a workplace. MSDS’s for all paints, coatings and chemical products being used on a job should be available for quick, easy, and accessible reference. A copy must be readily available for those people using the substance.

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