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OSHA offers new resources on chemical reactivity safety OSHA unveiled its newest safety and health information Web page, Chemical Reactivity Safety, on Oct. 21. It features information on the recognition, evaluation and control of chemical reactive hazards, and includes compliance requirements and available training resources.

The page also offers free access to a new book by the Center for Chemical Process Safety that includes a compendium of best practices from leaders in chemical processing.

"There have been too many reminders in recent years just how tragic and catastrophic chemical reactions can be if unpredicted and not properly controlled or contained," said OSHA Administrator John Henshaw. "Our goal and commitment is to work with chemical safety stakeholders throughout the country to prevent these incidents in the future."

Visitors to the new Web page can access OSHA standards and fact sheets on process safety management as well as additional reactive material hazard information from CCPS. Additionally, one click will take readers to a chemical reactivity worksheet provided by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration's Office of Response and Restoration. The worksheet includes a database of reactivity information for more than 6,000 common hazardous chemicals and also details on what dangers can arise during chemical mixing.

OSHA is also providing free access to the CCPS book Essential Practices for Managing Chemical Reactivity Hazards. The book is useful for safety and health managers, engineers, chemists and others involved in chemical manufacturing or operations to identify, address and manage chemical reactivity hazards.

The new Web page also includes reports on various reactive chemical incidents and resulting investigative reports, as well as references to other sources of information on chemical safety.

Henshaw unveiled the agency's strategy for chemical reactive safety at the Center for Chemical Process Safety's 18th Annual International Conference in Scottsdale, Ariz., last month. In addition to the new Web page, Henshaw told the group that OSHA is working on additional guidance on hazard communication, including material safety data sheets, and will also revise the compliance directive for the PSM standard. He said the agency will participate in the American Institute of Chemical Engineers' Reactivity Management Roundtable this month and is also developing an alliance with a number of groups in the chemical industry.

"I believe our comprehensive approach to address hazards posed by reactive chemicals is a sound one," Henshaw said. "This new Web page is an important part of a well-rounded strategy that will result in fewer reactive chemical incidents and fewer worker injuries and deaths."

Visit the new Web page at www.osha.gov/dep/reactivechemicals <http://www.osha.gov/dep/reactivechemicals>.

posted on 11-3-03