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Everywhere a Sign – Signs in Everyday Life

by Clifton Brown on April 7, 2015 at 5:00 pm · in Clifton's Blog, Products, Regulations, Safety

Safety signs are all around us in our everyday lives.

“Sign, sign, everywhere a sign … Do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the sign?” was a hit song for Ottawa’s Five Man Electrical Band (written by founder Les Emmerson) in the early ‘70s (19 not 18!), but the query in the refrain still can be heard today.

“Sign” shares a common root with the word “signal” and the noun may refer to an object that communicates by words &/or pictures; or an indication/event related to something that has taken, or is about to take, place. We will concentrate on the former in this discussion.

Signs are a fact of everyday life and at best may provide a quick and concise way of communicating information in a variety of circumstances. In some cases there is a legal requirement for signs (e.g. fire exits, hazard communication); others are for commercial purposes (e.g. advertising, business or product identification/branding); some may help ease life’s journey (e.g. rest stop, washrooms, HOV lanes, deer crossing); whereas we also encounter those that appear to just be of the “blockin’ out the scenery, breakin’ my mind” variety.
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SDS Research for OSHA HazCom 2012

by Paula Reavis on April 2, 2015 at 10:08 am · in GHS (OSHA HazCom & WHMIS 2015), Paula's Blog

Researching chemical information for OSHA 16-section SDS

The Next Revolutionary War?

For many, this transition period to OSHA HazCom 2012 from the Hazard Communication Standard of 1994 can best be summarized by Thomas Paine’s famous quote, “These are the times that try men’s souls.” While it was used in the pamphlet The American Crisis to deliver the ideas of the Revolution to the people of early America, there are many in the throes of classifying chemicals, substances and mixtures that feel this quote applies to daily life.

There is pressure on SDS authors, either internally or externally, to “get it right”. How can we be sure our classification is accurate? Did we cover all the hazards? Did we use the correct data?  Should we check other sources? These last two questions can be the most difficult to answer.
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Looney Tunes, “Of Mice and Men,” and Safety Data Sheets

by Paula Reavis on February 20, 2015 at 11:53 am · in GHS (OSHA HazCom & WHMIS 2015), Paula's Blog


Which way do I go, George?

John Steinbeck’s novella “Of Mice and Men” is often a required reading for many school children. Though published in 1937 about a story of migrant workers in the Great Depression, it has many themes that are still powerful today. What many don’t know is that one of Steinbeck’s characters from this story is parodied in a classic Looney Tunes cartoon.

Of Fox and Hounds

In this cartoon, Willoughby the dog is fooled by George the fox. Willoughby is voiced by Tex Avery, while George’s voice is done by Mel Blanc.
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Auditing – I’m Here to Help You*

by Clifton Brown on January 30, 2015 at 9:00 am · in Clifton's Blog, Products, Regulations, Safety


Let’s Start With Some Definitions

According to the Oxford English Dictionary there are essentially two types of audits:

1. “Conduct an official financial inspection…”
1.1 “Conduct a systematic review of…”

The latter is of interest here as, whether the topic is environment, health & safety (EHS) or transportation of hazmat/dangerous goods; we aren’t generally in the business of inspecting financial issues.

To expand, in the context of auditing in the non-financial context, a more relevant definition was provided in the classical (some things never grow old!) handbooks authored by Greeno et al:
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US Report on Chemical Safety and Security Issued

by Barbara Foster on July 1, 2014 at 12:53 pm · in Barbara's Blog, Industry News, Safety

Chemical safety and security in the USA

On June 6, a working group of Federal departments and agencies issued a report to President Obama titled Actions to Improve Chemical Facility Safety and Security – A Shared Commitment. This report is the result of Executive Order 13650, issued in August, 2013, requesting these departments and agencies to:

  • Strengthen community planning and preparedness;
  • Enhance Federal operational coordination;
  • Improve data management within the Federal government, and improve information sharing;
  • Modernize policies and regulations, to reflect the most up-to-date practices; and
  • Incorporate stakeholder feedback and developing best practices.
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