Today's Veterinary Business

AUG 2018

Today’s Veterinary Business provides information and resources designed to help veterinarians and office management improve the financial performance of their practices, allowing them to increase the level of patient care and client service.

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52 Today's Veterinary Business Leadership Uh-oh, it's OSHA Don't be caught unprepared and out of compliance when an inspector shows up. Your employees' health and safety are at stake. Regardless of whether an OSHA standard exists, each workplace is responsible for ensuring that safeguards are in place to prevent avoidable injuries and illnesses. In 2012, OSHA introduced the Globally Harmonized System (GHS), an international effort toward stan- dardization. Some notable updates centered on the identification and labeling of hazardous chemicals (Hazardous Communication Plan), the implementation of an Injury and Illness Prevention Program (I2P2), and the change from Mate- rial Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) to Safety Data Sheets (SDS). So, what does all this mean for veterinary practices? For starters, it means we need to identify all the hazardous chemicals within the hospital and implement a plan to identify and correct potential workplace hazards. The ultimate goal is to mitigate and reduce em- ployee injuries and illnesses. The Hazardous Communication Plan and I2P2 are central pieces of your overall safety program. Let's go into more detail. Hazardous Chemicals You are probably wondering how to begin your OSHA compliance effort and Hazardous Communication Plan. Take it one step at a time. • Perform a workplace assess- ment and document every hazardous chemical. • Create a list of the product name, hazardous chemical, manufacturer and manufac- turer telephone number. • Obtain an SDS from the man- ufacturer for each hazardous chemical and every medica- tion kept in the hospital. Secondary Container Labeling Part of the requirement for identi- fying hazardous chemicals is the proper labeling of secondary containers. This means that any- thing taken from its original con- tainer and placed in another con- tainer — something that happens frequently in veterinary hospitals — must be properly labeled. By Sandy Walsh, RVT, CVPM The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was established in 1970 under the U.S. Department of Labor to ensure that Americans have safe and healthy work environments. The agency's rules and regulations apply to veterinary hospitals and all other businesses. Systems must be in place to make sure the labeling happens and that label protocols are maintained. The labels are not hard to create and can be purchased from a veterinary product distributor. The updated OSHA requirement states that labels must include the following information: 1. Product identifier: the product name 2. Harmonized signal word: danger, caution etc. 3. Hazard statement: flammable, corrosive, etc. 4. Precautionary statement: what not to do 5. Company information: who and where 6. Harmonized Pictograms Leadership GETTING TECHNICAL

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