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Why does my non hazardous cleaner now have Caution labels all over it?

Posted by Linda Chambers on Thu, Jun 25, 2015 @ 09:00 AM

Well you can thank the new OSHA GHS labeling system for that.


When we were using the HMIS labels and a MSDS, for an ingredient to be considered a hazard, a hazardous ingredient had to make up more than 5% of the product. With the GHS labels and new SDS's that amount has been lowered down to 1% to be deemed harmful. The temperature level for what is considered flammable was also lowered.

Therefore many products with certain dye colors, now have to be listed as having carcinogens, may cause cancer. Many other small amount ingredients have to show that they are Corrosive because they will cause burning to the eyes if exposed due to splashing.

The same item you bought at the first of the year with a HMIS label of 1,0,1 may now have to have a 2,1,1 rating.

Nothing has changed but the percentage that reporting must start and the ranking of the hazard. For instance that small amount of ethyl alcohol in a product that before was not even listed on the MSDS and carried no flammable rating, all of a sudden is on the SDS and may make the product flammable enough to rate it a 1.

And do not think customers are not going to notice all the red border warning labels showing up on the side of the products you are using. You need to be informed and prepared to be able to defend what you are using. It is not fair that the bleach you buy that is for industrial use is going to have the Exploding Chest symbol on it but that same bottle if sold in the grocery store will not.

OSHA is only able to demand things in the name of protecting the working sector, not the home consumer. What a double standard our government is creating.

But don't panic at all of it yet. At least for now just because the hazards for products are increasing the DOT hazardous classifications have not changed and even though a product may have health hazard labels all over it, it will still ship DOT non hazardous like it always has, at least for now. Unfortunately if a product was already DOT hazardous it will still be.

Be prepared and keep updating your SDS binders, it is going to be a long next six months.

Tags: OSHA, MSDS, SDS, DOT hazardous, GHS

Does OSHA consider you a manufacture?

Posted by Linda Chambers on Mon, May 04, 2015 @ 10:00 AM

I thought I would pas this along during this Safety Week.

With all the new OSHA GHS label and SDS requirements coming down, contractors that make up their own chemical mixes out in the field may need to make sure they do not cross the line and become manufactures in OSHA's eyes.

The definition of a manufacture to OSHA is "Companies which blend or mix chemicals must comply with the standard by transmitting the relevant label/MSDS for the components of their mixture (which they, in turn, received in good faith from their suppliers) to their downstream customers."

So as long as the contractor is the definite end user and is not handing down, giving (other than their employees for doing their work) or selling their chemical mixture to others (creating downstream customers) than they can use said mixtures but they still must be able to provide their employees with the SDS of the original chemical materials used to make the mixture and label mixture containers to the best of their ability.

They do not have to pay for testing, chemical analysis or creation of new SDS for the mixture for their employees. But they need have some knowledge about what they are doing, for example what not to mix together and to assume that a hazardous labeled for example "8 Corrosive" chemical when mixed to make a new solution will continue to pass on that "8 Corrosive" characteristic and be treated and labeled as such for use by their employees.

So be sure you label all mixtures no mater where they came from and fight the urge to physically share your greatest new chemical find with your fellow contractors. Better to give them a list of the ingredients and tell them to go mix it themselves.

That is all for now, so get back to work and remember to mix safe.


UAMCC event Atlanta March 19th 2015

Posted by Linda Chambers on Mon, Mar 23, 2015 @ 11:38 AM

The weather may have been dreary outside but those that came to the UAMCC Atlanta event didn't mind.


Soap Warehouse and Iron Man Pressure Washers hosted this event on Thursday March 19th at the Fairfield Inn & Suites at Gwinnett Place. Most came from the local metro area, but there were also contractors that came from out of town, from Augusta, GA, Palmetto, GA, Greenville, SC and as far as Fort Pierce, FL.


It was a fast past packed full day of sessions mainly focusing on marketing and OSHA compliance. With sessions shortened to only 30 minutes each, a lot more focused material was covered, which kept the day moving and so no one could be uninterested for long. Sessions covered: Linda Chambers from Soap Warehouse gave talks on Inbound Marketing, Why you should use Videos, and Referral Programs.

Soap Warehouse gave away a 60 second professional video as a door prize after the Why use Video session and Todd Reese of Georgia Power Washing won.


Three speakers came in to cover Outbound Marketing with Online Yellow Pages and Adwords. Then Arrie Parker from Iron Man had a session on Occupational Health followed by a healthy lunch of Subway sandwiches, fruit, chips and drinks.


Things went so fast a few extra sessions were squeezed in. After lunch Nichole from UAMCC discussed the new revisions of their certification program and other benefits of membership. Arrie gave again a session on Cold Calling he gave at this event last year, which was followed up by Linda giving how to set up OSHA training, after which Soap Warehouse gave a way a $50 product gift card and Ryan Fox of Outback GutterVac won that door prize. Ryan is on the right.


Next was Spill kits why you should have one and how to make one, ending with the hands on OSHA Spill kit training at the end of the day on how to put together your own DIY spill kit and actual spill kit practice inside in the hotels pool area simulating a small spill of a potassium hydroxide concrete cleaner.



The event finish just before 4:00 allowing everyone to get on the road to try and be ahead of some of Atlanta's well known traffic. 

Tags: UAMCC, Soap Warehouse, event, OSHA, marketing, training, spill kit

Are you ready for December 1st & OSHA HAZCom SHS requirement?

Posted by Linda Chambers on Wed, Nov 20, 2013 @ 01:05 PM

As of December 1, 2013 you need to have given and completed with all your employees training about the new Safety Date Sheet (SHS) requirements. Not to will make you non compliant and you could face fines.

OSHA has been sending out information about this first deadline for GHS (Global Harmonization System) for quite some time but many small business owners and contractors still have no idea what this is, why it is needed and what they have to do. There are many companies that are charging businesses for this training at various price levels but all this information is also free. 

To first understand what exactly must be complete by 12/1/13 you can read the OSHA fact sheet; 

If you have never gone and looked at the OSHA web site before, you need to check it out and bookmark it on your computer,

Here they answer many frequently asked questions in regards to the new changes. 

There are free quick cards available to print out for use in training: 

Along with a sample new SDS to use in training

This current requirement of training should not take more than 30-60 minutes for most businesses to give to their employees but with all OSHA training more time is required of the business owner to document all steps that are taken for training; what supplies, print outs or manual was used in the training, details of the time and place of training. A list of all of the participants with their signatures next to their name acknowledging they attended training and a short test page, usually multiple choice, showing the employee understood, by passing the test, the training they received. 

This is why many businesses just pay for training, they do not want to bother or take the time to do these above steps themselves. 

But at this late date, if you have done nothing by now, what can you do to be done in time? 

First be sure you are currently in compliance with the old MSDS training and OSHA rules; that you gave each employee upon hire and annually MSDS training. That you have MSDS books or binders in all locations OSHA required i.e. at your office/location where the chemicals are received, handled, stored or distributed. A duplicate MSDS binder anywhere off site where employees would come in contact with chemicals ex: on your vehicles, wash rigs/trailers. If you have never done this, now is the time while OSHA is taking a hard look at all business due to the HCS deadline. 

Here are the steps you need to do:

  • Obtain and understand the OSHA rule (29CFR1910.1200)
  • Read and understand the requirements you must follow
  • Assign someone responsible for tasks, such as an HAZCOM Coordinator
  • Prepare an inventory of all chemicals used in your business

Then the important tasks that effect your employees

  • Ensure all containers are properly labeled
  • Obtain SHS for each chemical
  • Prepare a Hazardous Communication written program
  • Make SHSs available to workers via a book or binder
  • Conduct training for workers upon hire, annually and with any change


  • Establish procedures to maintain the current program
  • Establish procedures to evaluate effectiveness of all steps 

There are many companies that have created and uploaded to the web, slide shares and Youtube videos of their GHS training. So feel free to take a look at them. 

Slide Share videos

OSHA GHS training (this one is free)


ClickSafety is very inexpensive for on line training  

I hope this helps get you moving toward HAZCom compliance.











Keeping safe in the Summer

Posted by Linda Chambers on Wed, Jul 24, 2013 @ 08:00 AM

Keeping your crews safe and working in the Summer should not be hard or expensive but there are things you can do that will make a difference in them wanting and being able to do the work you need them to do the entire summer.

First have your equipment working in tip top shape and that includes the A/C in your trucks. Although it is not good for workers to experience a large temp shift going in and out of a vehicle while working (from the Sahara to the Arctic), having the A/C set at a reasonable temp, 10 degrees cooler than the outside temp, with a large volume of air moving does help.

Have plenty of water available while at work. Large plastic water coolers, like Igloosigloos resized 600 are a good investment for your employees. Every worker should have there own water bottle that they can fill from the cooler. Remember they should be consuming at least 8-12 oz of water per hour while working outside.

Tip: Save on the cost of buying ice; clean and use 1/2 gal or quart size (juice or milk) bottles filled with water that you freeze over night in your work freezer (or at home). You can fit 3-4 of these at the bottom of the cooler before filling it each day and the ice bottles will slowly melt and even when the cooler is empty the melted bottles can be poured out and used them selves. Have extras and each morning when you take the frozen ones out put new ones in and they will be ready for the next morning.

Make sure everyone has and wears a hat and UV sun glasses. Wide brims are better then baseball caps but anything helps. If your uniform or employees own shirts are short sleeved ask them to use sun screen. Long pants and water proof shoes are best to work in but can be hot. Suggest light cotton instead of jeans for pants and suggest thin moisture wicking socks instead of the heavy cotton which will trap sweat and become even heavier. Heat escapes the most from the head and feet, keeping the feet hot can really make you feel worse. Materials should be light weight but tight weaved or come with UV protection in the fabric if possible.

Believe it or not but Dollar Stores like the chain "Dollar Tree" can be both you and your employees best friend. They carry many things for summer. You or your employees can spend around $5 per person and be set for all day in the sun.

Things you can get for $1:

Neck bands that you can soak in cold water that contain water gel beads that expand and then retain the cold that you tie around the neck. These are a Great value. I use these myself when working outside or down at hunt camp and they are great.

Sun Screen Sticks UV rated 30-50 in packs of 2-4 (depends on the store) great for the face, ears and neck. They also carry sun screen in liquid and sprays.

UV lip balm, because almost 70% of lip cancer is from the sun, not tobacco products.

UV Sun Glasses, even ones that wrap around, to stop eye sun exposure. May not be the most fashionable and supplies vary but at least worth a look, plus not a big loss when they are lost or break. Be sure to check that they are UV, some of them are not.

Water bottles. They have all types, plastic and metal, and in all sizes, shop around to find what you like. Some even have belt clips or loops. waterbottles resized 600

Fine mist spray bottles. Keeping a spray bottle with cold water in it that employees can mist on themselves will help keep body temps down, fend off heat stroke and allows evaporation from dampening clothing keeping them cooler.

Tip: these bottles can also be put in the freezer half filled with water so more water can be added beginning of the day and lets the ice melt over time.

Hats or visors. They may not be a fashion statement but I have seen some nicer ones sometimes. Keep checking and when you find one you like buy 2-3.

Small hand fans or clip on fans. Even though you have to spend another $1 for batteries these little fans can help a lot when used while sitting in the shade on a break to cool you down.

Dollar Tree even has a web site where you can buy items direct by the case so you do not have to go looking for them. Check out products change all the time so check often.

If you want to spend a little more money, then head to a Wal-mart or similar and buy the spray bottles with the built in fans. Those mist and blow air at the same time. spray mist bottle resized 600

OSHA does not have set rules as to how much water you need to supply, just that you do. They do not require employers to supply clothes, sun screen, UV sun glasses or other sun protection items but anything you want and can give your employees will make them feel like a well thought of and valuable member of your business.

But Please follow OSHA guidelines they do suggest 

and OSHA also has a new Summer campaign "Water. Rest. Shade." that you can read about here; 

Have a great rest of your Summer and stay safe.




Tags: OSHA, safety, Summer

Why you need to have MSDS books.

Posted by Linda Chambers on Thu, Sep 17, 2009 @ 09:00 AM

Well September is here and with it the last quarter of the year. Now is a good time to look and see what business goals you set back at the first of the year still have to be done, evaluate things you have tried this year so far to see if you want to continue with them next year or put on the front burner things you still need to do before this year runs out.

So far we have done all the major products we had planned like putting out a monthly newsletter, writing in this blog at least once a month, trade shows and new advertising campaigns in new channels. But even I still have some things that got pushed aside that I need to get done and marked off my to do list.

One big one is to contact every customer to make sure they have a copy of an MSDS for every product they have purchased from us. This one item is very important for you, for your business and for your employees if you have them. This needs to be done and checked at least once a year. So very soon you will be getting either an email or letter in the mail with a list of the MSDS's you should have on hand especially if you still have the product at your house, on your truck or rig.

MSDS's are always sent out by us the first time you buy a new product, when the product contains Hydrofluoric acid or when it is requested by you, our customer. You can get a needed copy by calling 800-762-7911, emailing us or downloading it from the website.

By law (OSHA either federal or state) you need to have a book made up of all MSDS for every product you use routinely in your work, that you or employees can be exposed to. So many more products than just ours should be in there. They need to be cataloged in alphabetical order; by letter tabs are even better, you should probably have more than one MSDS book in your possession. The first should be at your home or office where the bulk of your chemicals are delivered and stored. Other copies should be carried out on the road with you in your truck or on your rig itself. And if you have more than one truck or rig, one for every one of those as well. It is also best for at least the ones on the road to be kept in a waterproof binder with the pages inserted in plastic page covers so dirt and water will not mess them up. If you do not have these books in place yet, this is a great time of year to get them at the lowest possible cost, while back to school supply sales are happening.

If you do not know what is found in an MSDS, or all the sections of an MSDS, now would be a great time to learn. You can go here to learn everything you need to know about an MSDS, like why you should have them, what are the different sections of an MSDS so you know where to look if the situation comes up and you need it.

MightyMaxpg1 resized 600
During an emergency is not the time to wonder if the health cautions or first aid directions are found in section III or VII! Plus if you ever get asked for your MSDS by OSHA, the DOT, a police officer or even a customer to prove what is or is not in a product you are using at their home, this will help your business look professional and possibly not be fined for not having them.

The most frightening calls I have gotten are when customers call us frantic with an injured employee and they do not know where an MSDS is or they did not keep the MSDS we sent them and that employee needs immediate emergency care. I hope you never have a need to open your MSDS books but it sure is important that they are there if you ever do.

Tags: OSHA, business plan, MSDS

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