Chemical labels, strong regulations can keep companies safe

This blog has previously discussed the explosion at the fertilizer plant in West, Texas, where 15 people were killed. According to state legislators, out-of-date standards helped contribute to the accident, and the Environmental Protection Agency must be more involved to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future.

The Associated Press reported on a U.S. Senate committee held last week, where the Chemical Safety Board spoke about what must be done to keep employees and customers safe. California Senator Barbara Boxer, who chairs the committee, explained at the event that new legislation was not required in order for the EPA to regulate the safe handling of chemicals at the fertilizer plant. 

Daniel Horowitz, managing director of the U.S. Chemical Safety Board, explained to the Waco Tribune that the explosion in West should be an eye-opening moment for refining the system in which hazardous chemicals are tracked, inspected and mitigated.

"One issue that folks raise is whether the program as a whole is effective in controlling accidents and whether it receives enough resources," Horowitz told the news source, before his organization presented to the U.S. Senate committee. "Are the requirements on industry appropriate? That's what we'll be looking at in our investigation."

As federal regulations for chemical labels change, it is important for companies involved in the manufacturing, distribution and transportation process to ensure that they adhere to any changes. Remaining compliant to all GHS labeling standards is necessary for organizations to avoid fines and also keep employees and customers safe.

With accurate and detailed chemical labels, there will not be any confusion about the proper storage needs for dangerous materials.

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