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Chemsafety February 2021 Newsletter

Welcome to Chemsafety's February Newsletter.  In this edition;
An Update from our Managing Director
Welcome to 2021.

In Health and Safety we often talk about continual improvement, and I am certainly hoping 2021 will be an improvement on 2020. COVID-19 has highlighted the need for robust respiratory protection management and we are seeing more and more people asking us for help with this. Respirators are often seen as a quick fix but to manage this control properly takes good systems and ongoing management.

2021 is going to be a big year for hazardous substances management. In April New Zealand is adopting the GHS classification system and moving away from our current bespoke classification system. There will be a staged implementation on how this will come into effect which we will communicate with you all. Our team are keeping up to date on developments as they are coming through from Government so we can provide advice to you.

We recently had an IANZ audit for our asbestos inspection body services and I am pleased to say we passed the audit with flying colours. What a way to start the year!

Stay safe and healthy.


Heat Stress

Although its coming to the end of summer, heat stress should be a consideration all year round.  Workers who are exposed to extreme heat or work in hot environments are at risk of heat stress. Some common indoor industries where this could be a factor all year round include, foundries, smelters, bakeries, boilers, and cultured dairy product factories.

Ensuring your workers understand heat stress and how they could be effected is an important part of managing this hazard so it can be prevented. Considerations when assessing heat stress don’t just include the temperature of the environment, we also look at the physical exertion the operator is under, what PPE they are wearing and how it affects their ability to regulate temperature, and what their work patterns are (how much time do they spend in the hot environment).

Some steps that can be taken to reduce heat stress are, limiting time in the hot environment, implementing a buddy system so workers look for signs of heat intolerance in their work mates, and of course plenty of water and nearby toilet facilities.

If heat stress is a consideration for your team contact one of our occupational hygienists to discuss. We can conduct a heat stress assessment using our Kestrel 5400 heat stress logger and on site assessment of your work practices.


Hazardous Substances Located Near Property Boundaries

Under the Health and Safety at Work (Hazardous Substances) regulations you may be required to obtain written permission from your neighbours if the separation distance required for the storage of your hazardous substances extends over your property boundary.

WorkSafe have just released a position document outlining when you need an agreement, and when WorkSafe recommend that you do.

In short, if your hazardous substances

  • require separation from something (such as protected places, public places, ignition sources, transfer points or incompatible substance
  • that separation distance extends over your property boundary, and
  • the neighbouring property has on it, anywhere, one of the ‘somethings’ that you need to separate from

then you will need a written agreement for the distance to extend across the boundary.  The actual separation distance to the item must still be achieved.  Read more

Hazardous Substance Training Records
If your business uses, handles, manufactures or stores a hazardous substance the Health & Safety at Work Act stipulates that your workers must receive training in how to handle those substances safely.  When a Certifier comes to inspect your site for a Location Certificate they will need to see evidence that this training has happened.

In our Resources on our website you'll find a Training Records Checklist that will provide details about what training is required, and examples of how this can be demonstrated,  Find it here

Chemsafety can provide a Chemical Awareness Training course for your team.  The courses are tailored to your site and the chemicals you store and use real life examples and practical solutions.  Contact us for more information.

Fire Ratings & Compliance Certification
One of the services we provide is Location Compliance Certification for the storage of hazardous substances. At Chemsafety we want to provide assurance that the regulations are being met and the hazard appropriately controlled.

Janet Connochie our Senior Hazardous Substance Consultant has written a comprehensive paper that takes a look at what has changed for fire ratings, advice on what you need to do for compliance and a look at some common examples such as LPG storage, fire doors and vents -  read the full paper here.

Thank you for taking the time to read our latest newsletter.  Feel free to forward it on, or if it has been forwarded to you subscribe below to get it delivered directly to your inbox.
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