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Hazard Communication (Dentistry)

By EdApp
3 Lessons
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About this course

Learn about the new Hazard Communication Standard as applied to the dentistry profession.

Hazard Communication (Dentistry) Lessons

Click through the microlessons below to preview this course. Each lesson is designed to deliver engaging and effective learning to your team in only minutes.

  1. What is Hazard Communication Standard?
  2. Reading Chemical Labels
  3. Safety Data Sheets

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Hazard Communication (Dentistry) course excerpts

What is Hazard Communication Standard?

Hazard Communication (Dentistry) Course - Lesson Excerpt

HAZARD COMMUNICATION What is Hazard Communication?

You have the right to be informed Hazard Communication Standard or HCS is also known as “the right to know” act. It was enacted by OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) to ensure chemical safety in the workplace.

You have the right to understand. Through OSHA's HCS, employees have access to information on chemicals, but they were too technical. That is why HCS was later aligned with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) so that employees have safety data sheets and chemical labels that are easy to understand.

What do we need to know? Since we are exposed daily to different types of chemicals in our line of work, we need to know what possible injuries or illnesses can result from their use. Our Hazard Communication Program or HazCom aims to communicate these hazards clearly and effectively to keep us safe.

Important Note! The chemicals previously listed are only the common ones. Each workplace is unique. Your clinic or laboratory uses various types of chemicals from different manufacturers and it's important to be familiar of what these specific chemicals are. It is critical to identify all of them in your workplace and collect their manufacturer's datasheets as they are potentially hazardous to health.

Reading Labels Knowing how to read labels ensure that you are aware of the chemicals in your immediate surrounding and their risks.

Understanding Safety Data Sheets Knowing how to use Safety Data Sheets and being familiar with its parts will help you find critical information when you need them.

Reading Chemical Labels

Hazard Communication (Dentistry) Course - Lesson Excerpt


Labels in our workplace We see labels every day --- from the food we consume to the products we use at home and more so in our workplace.

Labels are for our safety. They are so common that we do not pay much attention to them or realize their intended purpose --- to inform us of what chemical is in a container and warn us of any potential hazard.

Let's Practice

Glutaraldehyde is used in disinfecting or cold sterilizing dental instruments. Based on the label, what are the possible dangers of using this solution?

Phenolic compounds are used as sedatives, disinfectant and medication for different dental procedures. What should you do if this chemical is spilled to your eyes?

Alcohol is a common chemical used as a disinfectant/sanitizer, anesthetic, preservative, and solvent; thus it can be found in different health and medical-related environments. How can we store alcohol safely?

Safety Data Sheets

Hazard Communication (Dentistry) Course - Lesson Excerpt

HAZARD COMMUNICATION Understanding Safety Data Sheets

SDS made easy In the past, safety data sheets are lengthy and too hard to understand. Thanks to the revisions in OSHA's Hazard Communication Standard, information is now easier to find using the new 16-section format.

OSHA and GHS alignment In 2012, OSHA revised the Hazard Communication Standard to align with the Globally Harmonized Standard (GHS) developed by the United Nations.

16-Section Format As a result of this alignment, the SDS (formerly known as MSDS) was improved into a 16-section format that is easier to understand by people without technical knowledge of chemicals. Let's take a look at each section.

Section 1: Identification This section contains the name of the chemical, its recommended uses, and emergency contact information of the supplier.

Section 2: Hazard(s) Identification This section lists down all the hazards of the chemical and associated warning information. Some important information that you can find in Section 2 are the following: Hazard classification Signal words, hazard statements, and pictograms. Precautionary statement

Section 3: Composition/ Ingredient Information All ingredients contained in the product can be found in this section including impurities and additives. This part of the SDS is especially helpful when you need information on the individual substances in a chemical mixture.

Section 4: First Aid Measures This section gives us information about the symptoms and effects of a chemical that can helps us determine if someone needs immediate medical care or any special treatment. Most importantly, first aid instructions can be found in this section.

Section 5: Fire Fighting For flammable or combustible chemicals, you can find information on suitable and unsuitable extinguishing equipment, as well as protective equipment of precautions for firefighters. It also gives information on hazards that can arise e.g. harmful gases that are produced when the chemical is burned.

Section 6: Accidental Release Measure What do we do when the chemical leaks or is spilled? This section outlines cleanup procedures, materials and methods needed to contain the chemical, emergency procedure, precaution advice and PPEs needed when accidental releases occur.

Section 7: Handling and Storage Some chemicals should be stored in well-ventilated places while others are sensitive to heat. This section gives instructions on how to store chemicals safely and precautions for safe handling.

Section 8: Exposure Controls/ Personal Protection This section lists down the PPEs, engineering controls and exposure limits recommendations to reduce exposure to the hazard.

Section 9: Chemical Properties All relevant chemical properties (i.e. vapor pressure, density, evaporation rate, pH) and physical properties (i.e. color, odor, state) are outlined in this section.

Section 10: Stability and Reactivity Does the chemical reaction with other substances become unstable at a certain temperature? This section answers those questions and gives information on any stabilizer that prevents it from being reactive.

Section 11: Toxicological Information How can a chemical affect our health? This section indicated the health effects of a chemical and the routes of exposure. It will have information on the symptoms, short-and long-term health effects.

Section 12: Ecological Information This section informs us of the effects of the chemical on the environment. It is not a mandatory section for the OSHA HazCom Standard.

Section 13: Disposal Consideration How can we safely dispose of the chemical after use? This section advises of the disposal method and appropriate containers for the storage of used chemicals.

Section 14: Transport Information Similar to the above sections, Section 13 is not mandatory and is more important for suppliers and manufacturers. It provides guidance on the safe transport and shipping of chemical substances.

Section 15: Regulatory Information You will find the relevant national, regional, or industry regulations that you need to comply with within this section.

Which sections should you check to know if a chemical can be safely disposed of in your wastewater systems without harming nearby bodies of water? Select ALL the correct answers.

Section 16: Other Information The last section tells us when the SDS is prepared plus all the revision details. Other useful information that does not fall under the previous sections can be found here.

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Hazard Communication (Dentistry)


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