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Safety Data Sheets

As mentioned in the site`s article on the "Hazards That Threaten People's Lives in the Workplace", one of the most common hazards is the hazards of chemicals. In recent years, one of the solutions offered to reduce the damage caused by chemicals has been material safety information. In this regard, manufacturers were required to provide safety and health information for their products. That`s why material safety data sheets were created. One of the most important issues in the development of material safety data sheets has been the discussion of the Right to Know Act. This law, which has been implemented in many countries, outlines that everyone has the right to know what kind of substance and what side effects and harms they are dealing with in the workplace. To this end, safety data sheets were considered as a very convenient way to convey material safety and health information to people.
 

SDS or MSDS

Safety Data Sheets, also known as Material Safety Data Sheets or Product Safety Data Sheets, are documents that contain information such as physical properties (such as boiling point, freezing point, flammability point), toxicity, health effects, first aid, reactivity, storage method, protective equipment requirements, necessary measures in case of leakage, etc. Preparing and installing material safety data sheets in the workplace is a good way to provide material safety information. There have been different formats for MSDS for a long time, these formats were different from country to country and even in some cases from organization to organization. This led to the standardization of material safety information format, so SDSs were created.
 
SDS and MSDS are two words that are often used interchangeably. MSDSs are the SDSs that were called before the creation of the Harmonized System for the classification and labeling of chemicals. The small difference between MSDSs and SDSs is due to the presentation format. With the creation of the Globally Harmonized System (GHS), SDSs, which are a standardized format consisting of 16 sections, replaced MSDSs in providing material safety information. In this format, risk expressions, safety expressions, and visual symbols are used to provide information. SDSs usually consist of several pages. In contrast, MSDSs do not have a mandatory format, do not have a standard wording, and can vary in quality of content.
 

Using MSDS is necessary for three groups of people:

1- Workers who are exposed to chemicals in the workplace.
2- Workers who need to be aware of the proper transport and storage of materials and also the safe use of chemicals.
3- People who take action to control the situation during an emergency such as firefighters, chemical equipment crews, emergency technicians, and people in emergency rooms.
Concerning consumers, one point should be noted that SDSs are not required for all people who use materials. For example, a person who uses paint once a year to paint his building doesn`t need SDSs, but for a painter who works 40 hours a week, it is necessary.
Health and safety experts usually have two concerns about SDSs. Where to get the SDS of the materials they use? And appropriate guidance for SDS usage?
Today, the SDS of materials can be obtained in a variety of ways. For example, today most companies that produce or even distribute chemicals send the materials SDS to the buyer. That`s why most industries have a set of safety data sheets. If your company has not received such sheets, you can contact your supplier and request these sheets. If the supplier can not meet your needs, be sure to contact the customer service of the manufacturer. Another way is the university and some industries websites. Usually, some universities and industries have a set of material safety sheets on their site. Other sources include the Internet, which usually has a large number of safety sheets available for free. In some cases, buying software or buying subscriptions from reputable sites can also be helpful in this regard.
 
Some reputable sites providing safety data sheets are listed below that can be used to obtain a large number of materials SDSs.
1- msds.com
2- https: //www.msdsonline.com/sds-search/
3- http: //www.msdsprovider.com/
4- https://chemicalsafety.com/sds-search/
5- https: //hazard.com//msds/index.php
6- http://www.cambridgesoft.com/databases/login/?serviceid=128
7- https: //apps.netmsds.com/cgi-bin/cpvweb
 
People can get the information they need about safety data sheets by attending safety conferences and courses. There are also several suitable and valid guides on the Internet that are mentioned below.
1- American Occupational Safety and Health(OSHA) Guidance: This organization, which is part of the US Department of Labor, aims to ensure safe and healthy working conditions for male and female employees by enforcing mandatory standards and providing training, counseling, and education. OSHA was created in the 1970s. This organization provides material safety data sheet guidance.
2- Canadian Center for Occupational Safety and Health (CCOHS) Guidance: This center was established in 1978 by a majority vote of the Canadian Parliament to promote the physical, mental and emotional health of the Canadian workforce. The center provides guidance to increase people`s awareness of safety data sheets.
3. American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Guide: This association provides instructions on safety data sheets.
 
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Hazards That Threaten People's Lives in the Workplace P2

Increasing occupational safety and health is one of the most important policies of any country to reduce the damage caused by accidents and occupational diseases to employers and society. How can these staggering costs be avoided? The answer is simple, identify hazards, and follow workplace safety rules. In this article, we are going to introduce the remainder of the 10 important hazards that people face in their workplaces.
 

6- Biological hazards

Another danger that can cause harm to people in the workplace is biological factors. People are usually exposed to these factors due to working conditions, type of activity, consumption of various substances. These factors fall into five general categories: Viruses, Bacteria, Rickettsia, Fungi, and Parasites. These factors can greatly affect the work environment. Before the outbreak of coronavirus in 2020, these factors were not given much attention in the workplace. This has caused many industries to face serious problems and shutdowns. The outbreak of this virus showed that organizations and industries should prepare themselves for such crises. Changing the way things are done can be very effective in controlling such diseases. Carrying out activities remotely, performing engineering measures (such as improving ventilation systems), training, and employing specialized personnel in the field of health can be very effective in controlling these factors.
 

7- Chemical hazards

Chemicals in the workplace are generally materials in the form of gas, liquid, or solid. Chemicals include all raw materials, intermediate materials, and supplementary materials in the production process. These substances can have different physiological effects on humans. Generally, they are divided into several categories, including 1- Inflammatory and stimulant substances 2- Suffocating substances 3- Anesthetics and narcotics 4- Systemic toxins 5- Other suspended substances.
In addition to their physiological effects on humans, chemicals can be the source of many other accidents, such as fires and explosions in the workplace. It is required that MSDS of all chemicals should be available in the workplace.
 

8- Ergonomic hazards

Ergonomics is the science of human interaction with the environment and various tools. Ergonomics is closely related to the safety and health of employees in the workplace. Ergonomics is a science that designs work environments, tools, and tasks to match the physiological, psychological, anatomical, and abilities of individuals. In short, ergonomics is the science of adapting the work environment to the abilities of workers and preventing disease, injury, and stress in people. Poor ergonomic design can lead to muscle strain and skeletal and muscular injuries. Therefore, it is recommended that employers use ergonomic knowledge in designing tools and workstations, as well as in planning work shifts to minimize injuries to people.
 

9- Physically harmful factors in the workplace

Physical factors in the workplace are divided into different categories. These factors include noise, vibration, heat, cold, poor lighting, and radiation in the workplace. In addition to having a direct impact on people`s health, these factors can be a secondary cause of many other diseases and injuries in the workplace. For example, loud noise in addition to hearing damage, physiological and psychological effects can cause accidents in the workplace. The important thing about these factors is the personal expertise and ability of individuals. Susceptible individuals can be harmed much sooner in inappropriate environments.
 

10- Lack of visual and audio equipment

Failure to use warning devices can be considered a hazard in the workplace. Unfortunately, many workplaces do not have warning devices. Signs, stickers, hangers, and other safety signs in the workplace visually remind people of the dangers. Proper use of these tools can prevent accidents in the workplace. Also in case of emergency, these are the tools that show the emergency exit for people and inform them of the occurrence of an emergency.
 
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Hazards That Threaten People's Lives in the Workplace P1

Did you know that according to the official statistics available in the country, about 10,000 job accidents occur in Iran every year? Unfortunately, about 900 people lose their lives as a result of these accidents in industrial units. The direct and indirect costs of these accidents impose a heavy financial burden on society. Increasing occupational safety and health is one of the most important policies of any country to reduce the damage caused by accidents and occupational diseases to employers and society. How can these staggering costs be avoided? The answer is simple, identify hazards, and follow workplace safety rules. In this article, we are going to introduce the 10 important hazards that people face in their workplaces.

1- Slipping or falling

Falls are one of the most common causes of injury in the workplace. Falls can occur for a variety of reasons in the workplace and even in non-work environments (for example, the causes of falls can be uneven floor surfaces, wet and damp floors, cables left in the workplace, etc). Employers have to pay a lot of money for these accidents every year, while if safety regulations are observed, such accidents in the workplace can be diminished. As you know, the employer is responsible for ensuring the safety of his workers and employees in the workplace.
 
Accidents have always happened throughout history and will happen in the future, but simple steps can make the work environment safer and prevent many accidents. For example, observing such things as implementing the 5S system, cleaning stains and spilled liquids on the workplace floor, placing equipment in its places, improving lighting, preparing work instructions for height, and require workers to wear non-slip safety shoes can prevent many falls.
 

2- Electric current

Any electric wires can harm people, whether they are touched directly by people or indirectly transmitted to an individual through an electrical conductor. Voltages above 50 volts are considered dangerous to humans and should be taken seriously. A broken wire cover of motors and electrical devices due to wear or burn can cause a source of danger in the workplace. Unfortunately, some annual accidents that occur due to exposure to electricity in the workplace are fatal. Electric shock can in many cases cause severe and permanent damage. Most of these electric shocks are caused by defective workplace equipment that can be prevented with a proper precautionary measure. Some of the basics of electrical safety include: maintenance of all electrical installations and equipment at appropriate intervals, isolating people by selecting appropriate personal protective equipment, using protective relays, connecting the metal body of the devices to the ground, and replacing damaged power cables. It should be carried in mind that defective electrical appliances can sometimes lead to fires in the workplace.
 

3- Fire

Businesses that are too weak to maintain workplace regulations are available to the public (for deliberate fires), and businesses that use defective equipment must anticipate the fire. In addition to the damage to buildings, fires can cause damage to people and the reputation of the business (for example, the Tehran Plasco accident, which caused extensive financial and human damage). This is while proper safety measures can prevent such fires from occurring. Installing fire detectors and sensors to reduce detection and extinguishing time can be effective in preventing the spread of the fire. Of course, this equipment needs to be tested periodically and must be connected to an alternative power supply so that it can operate properly in the absence of electricity. It is also necessary to have an emergency response plan in the organization and people are aware of their duties in the case of a fire and proper ways to leave the building.
 
 In order to deal with fire, the presence of appropriate and sufficient numbers of fire extinguishers, in the workplace is very necessary. If people work by the flames, fire-resistant work clothes should be used. Flammable materials must be stored safely, unused electrical equipment must be switched off and unplugged. The preparation of MSDS is essential for people to be aware of the type of chemicals and ways to extinguish it. Fire is an issue that employers and employees have a very important role to play in dealing with.
 

4- Work in confined places

Enclosed spaces can become dangerous places to work. Tanks, silos, pits, trenches, wells, sewers, drains, pipe ducts, and rooms without ventilation or poor air conditioning can increase the risk of death or serious injury. Welding, painting, flame-cutting, use of chemicals in small spaces, gas leakage in closed spaces can create dangerous working conditions. Poor training can harm not only the workers trapped in these spaces but also the people who are trying to save them. Other things that can happen in such places if you are not careful are lack of oxygen, the release of toxic gas, working with liquids and solids that suddenly fill the enclosed space, etc. Residues from combustion can emit gas, smoke, steam, and dust for a long time. Such materials can cause hot working conditions.
A very clear way to reduce the risk of working in confined spaces is to prevent entering those places primarily. Is it really necessary for people to go to limited space and work there? If it is unavoidable, precautions must be taken. Training and preparing appropriate instructions for entering the confined space can be very effective in reducing these accidents.
 

5- Mechanical hazards

The term mechanical hazards here refers to a group of hazards that can cause physical harm to individuals. These risks are one of the most common occupational hazards and often occur in most work environments. Unprotected machines, moving parts of machines, cutting and pressing machines, pinch points, nip points, and crushing hazards are among the sources of these hazards. As you work through your daily job, you are likely to face one of these dangers. Employers must ensure the safety of their employees against such risks. Providing training to workers on how to work properly with equipment and how to observe safety principles can be very helpful.
 
To be continued...

International Labour Organization

Improving working conditions over the years has occupied the minds of many people. The need for an organization to improve the working conditions was pursued by two Welsh and French social reformers, Robert Owen and Daniel Legrand. The first major step in this direction was the establishment of an international conference in 1890 with representatives of 14 countries in Berlin. At this conference, proposals were made for the development of regulations on the minimum age for employment, improvement of working conditions for women and adolescents. In 1898 another conference was held in Brussels. And in 1900, the International Society for the Legal Protection of Workers was established. Finally, after World War I, when the peace conference was held at the Palace of Versailles, International Labor Organization (ILO) established to support workers` rights and create favorable working conditions and adequate facilities for employment and living standards for workers throughout the world. The goal of this organization was to establish social justice, freedom and economic security and to create equal opportunities for all nations, as well as to formulate international rules and regulations, optimize international labor standards and ensure their employment.
The ILO Act was drafted by the Labor Commission at the International Peace Conference between January and April 1919. The commission was composed of representatives from nine countries: Belgium, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, France, Italy, Japan, Poland, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The result of this meeting was the creation of a tripartite organization, which was the only organization that set government representatives, employers, and workers in one place. ILO is the eighth chapter of the Versailles Treaty.
At the beginning of its establishment, about 45 countries became members of the International Labor Organization. The first meeting of the International Labor Organization was attended by two representatives of the government and employers and workers from each member state who met on October 29, 1919. The meeting addressed issues related to the first six topics of the International Labor Act on working hours in industry, unemployment, protection of pregnant women, minimum working age, and night work for adolescents in the industry.

Currently, about 180 countries are members of this organization. Iran has been a member of the International Labor Organization since the first year of its formation, and in 1945, for the first time, a full delegation from Iran participated in the International Labor Conference.
The organization`s meetings are held in June each year in Geneva, workers and employers representatives express their views.
In 1944, the organization held meetings in Philadelphia, USA, following which the Philadelphia Declaration was adopted, according to which the International Labor Organization was obliged to pursue the following issues in countries around the world:
• Employment of all people and increase the standard of living
• Employing workers with jobs that fit their capabilities
• Creating the necessary facilities for training workers
• Provide opportunities for progress and ways for all people to be fair, in terms of wages, difficult work, and working conditions
• Creating favorable cooperation between workers and employers
• Support workers` health in all jobs
• Providing welfare facilities for children and mothers
• Development of social insurance for all workers and provision of complete medical treatment
• Provide appropriate food and culture and cultural facilities and healthy recreation
• Creating equal facilities for training workers
• Organization of the International Labor Organization
The organization has a general assembly, an executive board, a permanent secretariat, and other parties.
 

1- General Assembly

This assembly is convened once a year with the participation of member representatives. Each member state sends two representatives of the government, one representative of the employer, and one representative of the workers to the assembly. Each of these representatives can have their technical advisors. One chairman and three vice-chairmen are elected for each session of the General Assembly.
The main activity of the General Assembly is to establish a minimum standard for the working and living conditions of workers. The criteria adopted by the representative of the General Assembly shall be included in the Agreements and Instructions of the International Labor Organization and shall be adopted by a majority of the votes of the General Assembly. Creating conditions for these recommendations should be approved and implemented by the country`s authorities. The instructions of the International Labor Organization are for the government`s attention and their guidance in providing occupational health and social welfare of workers. It does not have to go beyond the approval of the legislature. Member States are required to notify the International Labor Organization of the approval or non-approval of the Instructions. These reports are reviewed by a committee of experts. Another task of the Assembly is to elect the members of the Executive Board, to approve the program and budget, and to determine the policy regarding the executive proposals or the representatives of the countries.
 

2. Executive Board

The Executive Board of the International Labor Organization shall be elected by the General Assembly every three years. The executive board consists of 56 people, of which 28 represent the government, 14 represent the workers and 14 represent the employers. Out of 28 government representatives, 10 are elected by the industrialized countries and another 18 are elected by the representatives of other countries.
 

3. International Labor Office

This office is the secretariat of the organization and is responsible for administrative and clerical affairs and providing the means for holding the assembly. The unit is headed by the general director of the International Labor Office and is based in Geneva.
 
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World Health Organization

The World Health Organization is one of the United Nations agencies whose most important goal is to coordinate and improve the public health conditions. The WHO was established in 1945 with the approval of the General Assembly of the United Nations and adopted its constitution in 1946. The constitution came into force on April 7, 1948, which later known as World Health Day.  
The World Health Organization is responsible for guiding and coordinating the promotion of people’s health within the framework of the United Nations. The organization`s experts set health standards and help countries deal with health problems. According to the WHO, the main goal of the organization is to "achieve public health at the highest possible level as the most fundamental right of every human being, regardless of race, religion, political beliefs, economic status or social status". According to this organization’s policies, health is a condition in which a person`s physical, mental, and social condition should be perfectly decent and is not limited to the absence of illness or disability. 
At its first meeting in 1948, members of the World Health Organization chose global health priorities for malaria, mother and child health, tuberculosis, sexually transmitted diseases, nutrition, and environmental health, most of which are still global health concerns. 
One of the most important steps taken by the World Health Organization in combating the spread of infectious diseases is the development of international health laws, which oblige countries to identify and control these diseases. In 2005, during a new review of the rules, SARS and new forms of the flu were added to the list of serious diseases. Another innovative move is the establishment of the Center for Strategic Health Operations, which uses the latest technologies in the field of epidemics of diseases and natural disasters to coordinate information and actions between different countries around the world. Given the prevalence of chronic diseases and lifestyle changes in poor and rich communities, the organization has developed a global strategy of nutrition and health to fight against heart disease, stroke, cancer, and diabetes. At the United Nations third millennium session, health became the center of development, and three of the eight main goals of development goals in the third millennium were directly related to health, and the rest were related to health indirectly. 

Structure of the World Health Organization

The member countries of the World Health Organization send representatives to the World Health Assembly, which are the main decision-making body of the organization. The member representatives come together annually at the organization`s headquarters in Geneva, and in addition to appointing the organization`s secretary-general for five years, they review the organization`s financial policies and approves budget proposals for health programs. The implementation of the decisions and policies of the Assembly is carried out by the executive board of the WHO. The board consists of 36 health professionals selected by the Assembly for 3 years. Also, the secretariat of this organization has the role of providing technical and managerial assistance to member countries to propose development programs for their country. All members of the United Nations can become members of the World Health Organization. Other countries can become members if their membership application is approved by the World Public Health Assembly. Currently, 193 countries are members of this global organization.
The World Health Organization is headquartered in Switzerland.
 

Budget of the WHO

The World Health Organization provides funding through membership fees and voluntary donations from countries and organizations. These credits are spent in the following four general areas:
- Basic health interventions, including epidemic control
- Health system policies and products, including the quality of medicines and technologies
- General health determinants including nutrition and smoking
- Effective support of member countries including management and information technology
75% of this credit is spent in the representative offices and regional offices and 25% in the central office of the organization. More than 30 percent of the World Health Organization`s funding is spent in Africa.

World Health Organization activities

The priority of this organization, according to its statutes, is to determine the direction and coordination of management in all international health activities. This objective allows member states to identify difficulties and health problems that have priority around the world, and to think of strategies, principles, and programs that collectively impact these policies to achieve the goal. The organization also has a special responsibility in determining and promoting international standards in the field of health. These responsibilities are in the following areas:
- Prevention and control of specific diseases
- Development of comprehensive health services
- Family health
- Environmental Health
- Health statistics
- Biological research 

Prevention and treatment of specific diseases

Almost all infectious diseases have been the subject of the World Health Organization, or are now the subject of the organization`s activities. Smallpox eradication is an example of international health cooperation, and the organization is now leading the global fight against AIDS. The World Health Organization also focuses on non-communicable diseases (cancer, cardiovascular disease, mental disorders, oral diseases). The organization`s main focus now is on the emergence of Covid-19. 

The development of comprehensive health services

The most important activity of the World Health Organization is to expand and support international health policy and to publicize the comprehensive health program of countries. The World Health Organization has been a major player in promoting national, regional, and global health strategies for all until 2000. Environmental health has always been an important activity of the World Health Organization. The organization is pursuing new activities to protect the quality of water, air, food, occupational health, and radiation protection, as well as early detection of new risks posed by technological advances. 

Health statistics

Since its foundation, the WHO has focused on the publication of a variety of health and mortality statistics on health problems.
The data is published as follows:
- Weekly epidemiological report
- World Health Statistics Quarterly
- World Health Statistical Yearbook

Biomedical Research

The World Health Organization is strengthening and coordinating research work and has established a global network of partner centers for the WHO. In addition to promoting research, the WHO awards incentives to researchers and research centers. The WHO operates as a center for collecting, reviewing, and exchanging information on health issues; and its publications cover hundreds of topics on a variety of health subjects.
 
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