There were over 23,000 HazMat incidents in 2021. Exposure to hazardous materials happens every day to people across all industries. This is why employees have to receive HazMat training.
This is especially important for employees managing inventory. To create a truly safe environment, hazardous materials have to be stored properly. Training teaches employees how to store, handle, and manage these materials.
Keep reading to learn more about how HazMat training helps manage inventory.
What Is HazMat Training?
Hazardous materials, also known as HazMat, are found in a variety of different industries. You can find these materials in manufacturing and construction to create products that are safe for consumers. HazMat training is necessary for anyone who is going to be working with these types of materials.
The training teaches you how to identify hazardous substances and how to handle them safely and correctly. HazMat training equips employees with the knowledge of how to handle hazardous materials. It will also educate them on the different types of hazards that they might encounter and how to mitigate them.
How Does HazMat Training Help With Safe Inventory Management?
HazMat training is more than just a certification. It is a way to learn about the hazards in your workplace and how to manage them.
Every company needs to be aware of the dangers of hazardous materials and should have a plan in place for what they would in case of exposure. HazMat training can help you understand these hazards, how they affect people, and how best to protect yourself from them.
The course covers topics like personal protective equipment and respiratory protection. Staff will also learn about air monitoring, spill control, and more.
Most companies that deal with hazardous materials are required by law to have an inventory management system. This system should include a record of all shipments and inventories, as well as the location of hazardous material storage and use areas.
Inventory management can be difficult when you don’t know what you’re dealing with or how it behaves in different conditions. HazMat training helps employees understand their inventory better. This helps them make better decisions about how they store it and where they use it.
Benefits of HazMat Inventory Management:
This training helps companies comply with OSHA regulations. It also reduces the risk of accidents and injuries in the workplace and avoids fines for violations of safety laws. Below, we’ll discuss more benefits in-depth:
There are many different laws and regulations for businesses to comply with. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) regulates many of these. Additionally, there are federal and state laws to follow.
When you have inventory management practices that meet HazMat requirements, you make sure you meet all the requirements. It also makes it easier to generate necessary reports when the two align.
Calculate Possible Emissions
Hazmat training is important because it helps you to calculate the possible emissions in inventory storage. It also helps you to identify what type of hazmat material may be in your inventory.
Maintain a Safe Environment
Employees can’t be safe if they don’t know the hazards. HazMat training ensures everyone is on the same page. It also helps them to understand the requirements for managing potentially dangerous inventory.
HazMat Training Requirements:
All employees who may be exposed to hazardous materials must complete a training course. This awareness course is on how to recognize, identify and respond to hazards. They teach workers about the dangers of chemicals and how they react with other substances.
HazMat requirements do vary by industry. For example, CDL HazMat training and DOT HazMat training focus on the transportation industry. The chemicals and inventory procedures in this industry will differ from those in manufacturing.
HazMat Training Levels
Several industries have 3-5 HazMat training levels. This is especially common for emergency responders.
Additionally, there are basic HazMat levels. The first is the awareness course that all employees should complete. From there, the training is more intensive based on the jobs the worker performs.
HazMat-Compliant Inventory Best Practices:
HazMat-compliant inventory best practices are necessary for companies using hazardous materials. They make sure that you are not putting your employees and customers in danger.
You must have an inventory of all the hazardous materials you store on the premises and a list of all the employees who may come into contact with them. You must also keep a record of any accidents or spills involving hazardous materials.
Below are more detailed best practices:
Monitor Storage Conditions
Monitoring inventory storage conditions is an important requirement for HazMat compliance. It helps to ensure employees store hazardous materials appropriately. It also prevents contamination of other materials.
The EPA has specific requirements for the storage of hazardous materials. One such requirement is monitoring the conditions of the storage area.
This includes monitoring temperature and humidity. You must also assess the pressure and vibration of the area. It’s a good idea to also check for leaks or spills.
Establish Inventory Limits
Setting inventory limits is one of the most important steps when it comes to meeting HazMat requirements. The EPA requires that any company with more than a certain quantity of hazardous materials must have an emergency response plan.
This includes a list of hazardous materials and their quantities. You must also list the location of the hazardous materials and emergency contacts.
Inventory limits help prevent chemical spills or fires by reducing the number of hazardous materials in storage.
When setting inventory limits, look at your team. How big of an emergency response could they handle? Don’t have more inventory than the team can manage in case of emergency.
Inventory, in general, is not something that most companies want to have too much of. When you are looking at inventory for HazMat goods, you want to make sure that you are minimizing it as much as possible. This is because the more inventory you have on hand, the more dangerous your company becomes.
The best way to minimize inventory for HazMat goods is by having a strong inventory control plan in place. You should also have plans to react quickly when there are sudden changes in demand or regulations.
When ordering new inventory, it’s often tempting to buy in bulk because of the discounts. No one should apply this mindset when purchasing hazardous materials.
You must track materials with a limited shelf-life. And monitor the inventory to use the oldest stock first. You can do this by following the first-in, first-out method of inventory management.
To accurately track materials, it’s important to label and date inventory as it comes in. You should also inspect it to ensure there aren’t any concerns or damage to the package.
To streamline material tracking, many companies use an online tracking system. Click here to learn more about how our online SDS software helps with HazMat inventory management.
Lower the Amount of Similar Products
Many products have similar chemicals and do the same job. By reducing the amount of these you have on hand, you can improve your HazMat compliance.
For example, having several solvents isn’t necessary. You can easily reduce them or find one that lasts for a longer period. This not only helps with HazMat compliance but also is better for environmental protection.
Maintain Updated SDS Documents
To meet HazMat requirements, the information on the SDS document must be complete and accurate. This includes the following:
- The material’s name
- The chemical’s identity
- Its composition
- Its hazards
- Its physical and chemical properties
- Its stability
OSHA sets guidelines for how to maintain accurate SDS documents. These documents are required by law. HazMat regulations require that companies keep these documents in a safe place and have access to them in case of an emergency.
Companies can streamline SDS document management with online software. Read more about that below.
Update Your Inventory System Today
This article covers the importance of HazMat training. Now you understand the connection between inventory and compliance requirements. We hope you better understand how to create a safe work environment after reading this article.
At Online SDS, we make the inventory management process as easy as possible. When you use our software, you get automatic reporting and regulatory data for each chemical stored in the system. You no longer need to research and spend days planning your inventory storage plans!
Don’t take our word for it though! Book a free demo today to see how our unique platform makes HazMat inventory management easier than ever.