GHS preparations and the most dangerous employees

By: February 3rd, 2015 Email This Post Print This Post

As we here in the Great White North known as Boston deal with a seemingly endless series of snowstorms and Patriots-palooza, I’ve had plenty of time to contemplate the next few months of newsletter articles.

As you probably know, June 1 of this year marks the OSHA deadline for adhering to the new GHS system of labeling hazardous chemicals in your facility. By then, it is expected that not only have you taught your employees to recognize the new Safety Data Sheets (SDS) on chemical containers but manufacturers will also be required to start providing the new labels with their products. The idea is to provide a seamless transition to a new labeling system that will be more universally known and make it easier for workers to know what they are working with and to obtain first aid information.

We all know it’s not that easy. I‘d like to know if you are having any problems transitioning to the new system. Are your employees trained, and are you noticing the new labels coming into your facilities with new stockpiles of chemicals. What hardships, if any, is this new labeling system causing you and how are you getting your employees ready?

Next, I’m compiling a list of the Top Most Dangerous Employees in the Healthcare Facility, and tips on how to deal with them. We’ve all seen them: the person who isn’t a team player, the one who thinks they know it all, and the one who doesn’t know they’re being dangerous.

I’d like to know who are the dangerous people dealt with in your careers, and short of firing them, how do you change or deal with them? Part of training is being able to work with your employees and helping them become safer at their jobs. I’d like to hear about your tips and techniques.

As always, feel free to drop me a line at


By Durry Nkanga on February 4th, 2015 at 8:28 pm

Hi John: Some examples of “Dangerous Employees” could be (1) a housekeeper or maintenance employee who sees loose floor tiles in a building built in 1960 and without knowing whether asbestos is present or not, chooses to pull them up and toss them into the trash. No coverage to the mastic remaining behind, no gloves or other PPE used….(2) dietary cooks that leave a pot of boiling water on the stove with the handle turned outward into oncoming employee traffic…(3) a maintenance man who cleans or replaces ceiling tiles without protective eyewear or a mask. Soln: 1/1 Inservice; Retraining

What is interesting to me is that nurses and needle sticks are one of the “Dangerous employees”. As a service provider providing WC insurance to the medical field, we recently had 2 needle stick from the same HCP in a 90 period. On an average of at least (60%) incidents per company in the last 12 months, Nurses need to be aware of the hazards with needles and medical devices and to follow a needle stick protocol (if they have one).

Recently, I’ve noticed a trend in the following: a 7up bottle…filled with cleaning liquid! The culprit? Maintenance team. But then, the facility gardener stores petrol in a mineral water bottle, the domestic staff use mineral water bottles to mix detergents..
So, in my opinion, dangerous employees are any employee who are either uninformed, or who blatantly ignores safety regulations.


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