The important purpose of MSDS sheets is to protect individuals against potential harm from hazardous chemicals. As such, it is especially critical for schools to exercise caution in student labs by training students about handling hazardous chemicals safely through proper MSDS management and education. By using MSDS software and other training materials, schools can prioritize this safety training when students will be working with potentially dangerous substances.
Teaching About MSDS Management and Hazardous Chemicals
Schools that offer lab classes where chemicals labeled as hazardous are used must inform and instruct students about hazard safety. Although there is no actual requirement that students be educated in SDS and MSDS management, it is beneficial to provide training regarding safety data sheets and their significance. This education can reduce exposure and injuries in the lab, subsequently reducing the need for schools to rely on emergency protocols. It is recommended that all schools with laboratory classes make MSDS a standard part of classroom training.
Generating Safe Habits Through Example and Understanding
While the main benefit of appropriate safety training for students is a reduction in dangerous exposure to chemicals, there are other considerable and long-lasting benefits as well. Students who are taught early how to recognize hazards and the way they are handled to be in compliance with OSHA are more likely to retain these habits once they leave school and move into the workplace. By having a proper understanding of MSDS documents and how they should be used, students become more compliant themselves, both as students and as future employees and business owners.
Another significant benefit gained when schools make MSDS management and education a standard for students is improved overall compliance. According to recent industry studies done for OSHA, as many as 26 percent of all employers (schools included) are not compliant with OSHA’s HCS program that allows for all employees to have easy access to hazard safety information. Access to safety data sheets and other safety training promotes an environment of awareness at schools and workplaces.
Making MSDS Accessible to Students
Even though schools must have safety protocols in place, many students do not have access to the actual safety data sheets for learning purposes. Considering the many benefits in teaching about the significance and use of safety data sheets, it is strongly recommended that schools invest in MSDS software. By using effective computerized systems, schools can ensure that both employees and students understand how and why SDS are generated and have access to critical and current information in the event it is needed.
Software also makes MSDS management and education much easier, avoiding duplication of effort while providing instant access from any computer with access, eliminating the need to keep hard copies in multiple locations.
The important point to remember is that schools must consider hazard safety in the same way as would any business. Teaching safety compliance and the importance of MSDS should be a primary concern for all schools offering lab classes to students. Proper MSDS management both reduces the incidence of exposure to dangerous chemicals and teaches effective habits for the safe handling of these chemicals. By using MSDS software, it is easier than ever for institutions to make this information available to both students and employees alike!