For companies that are involved in the manufacturing, distribution or transportation of hazardous chemicals, it is essential that all of the durable labels have detailed information and adhere to GHS labeling standards. When employees have all of the details concerning the contents of a drum or barrel, they can keep themselves and those around them safe.
An example can be taken from what happened in West, Texas two months ago, when a fertilizer plant exploded. The state plans to create an online database where residents can enter in their address and find out how close they are to facilities that hold dangerous materials.
"Wouldn't you want to know if there's a chemical facility in your neighborhood with hazardous material, ammonium nitrate, or other types of chemicals? And the answer is yes," Steve McCraw, director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, told the House Homeland Security and Public Safety Committee on Monday.
According to The Dallas Morning News, State Fire Marshal Chris Connealy told lawmakers that his office would also collect information on best practices pertaining to handling and ammonium nitrate, and then give that data to companies similar to West Fertilizer Company that aren't covered by a fire code.
CNN explained that regulatory records show that the plant held 270 tons of highly volatile ammonium nitrate on site. When the building exploded on April 17, the blast was registered on seismographs as a magnitude-2.1 earthquake and were felt 50 miles away.
While no company can guarantee that accidents will never happen, having the right chemical labels on hazardous materials can ensure that employees have access to the necessary information to work toward proper safety protocols.