Occupational Safety and Health – Safety for substances and chemicals used in client homes

Common substances/chemicals in homes are cleaning agents, insecticides, and in the garden, herbicides and fertilizers. Some of these are classified as hazardous. Bleaches such as White King and Domestos are hazardous and should be treated with caution. It is essential that you become familiar with the recommendations on substance container labels: for First Aid, what to do if it is swallowed, splashed on skin or in eyes.

More detailed information can be obtained from their Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) or Safety Data Sheets (SDS). A Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) or a Safety Data Sheet ((SDS) is a document that contains information on the potential health effects of exposure to chemicals and on safe working procedures when handling chemical products.

It is very important to keep the original labels on substance containers so that you can provide accurate information if someone drinks from a container, or some of the substance splashes in their eyes or on their skin. It is also very important not to pour a substance into a container with no label because if you do not know what the substance is it is impossible to give accurate information if you have to contact a Medical Practitioner or the Poisons Information Centre.

Not all substance containers have First Aid information and directions for safe use. For information on a substance, where there is none given on the label, or you want more information please contact the OSH Coordinator, Paul Goode and provide him with the substance details and he will get you detailed information from a MSDS or SDS and give you a copy.