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Monday, March 06, 2006

Handling dangerous chemicals

Dangerous chemicals found in schools, from paint solvents used in art classes to chemicals used in science and photography classes to cleaning supplies used by the maintenance staff, must be carefully controlled to avoid injury.

Schools must follow OSHA’s Hazcom Standard to identify potentially hazardous chemicals and prevent physical hazards, such as fires and explosions, and health hazards, such as dizziness and chemical burns.

Information about chemicals can be found on the warning labels and the Material Safety Data Sheets that come with the chemicals. The MSDS provides product information about the chemicals and instructions on what to do in the event of fires or chemical spills.

Proper procedures must be followed to handle, store and dispose of chemicals. Information on how to do this can be found in the MSDS.

Every school must make a special effort to comply with the OSHA Hazcom Standard to avoid chemical accidents that could harm students and staff.