Chemical Safety

Target Audience:

Designed specifically for municipal and water utility operations.  Specific departments addressed include public works, fleet management, public park swimming pools, landscape or aquatic chemical applicators, water or waste water, distribution workers, water plant or waste water plant operators, lift station mechanics etc. or others at your places of employment who are regularly exposed to hazardous chemicals.

 This program is also recommended for safety officers, risk managers, H. R. professionals or others with safety program coordination responsibilities. 



  1. General Managing of Chemicals:  Reference is made to the Federal HazCom Standard 1910 Subpart H and 1910.120.  The outline of the program is compared to requirements and specific management practices and employee actions called for under the law to confirm that the most important concepts are included in the discussion.  This section includes a summary of recent municipal or water utility chemical accidents and also lists causes and contributing factors.   
  1. Compliance with Global Harmonized System (GHS):  Trains employees on the new label elements and SDS format.  Discusses updating alternative workplace labeling and hazard communication programs as necessary and calls for the providing of additional employee training for newly identified physical or health hazards.
  1. Chemical Inventory:  The compilation of a chemical inventory for all chemicals at each location.  Included are software and web based tools for data collection, indexing and chemical list compilation.
  1. Safety Data Sheets (SDS):  The format and typical information provided by safety data sheets is detailed.  Special attention is paid to the new section and pictograms required on SDS’s by GHS.
  1. Labels, Signs, Pictograms and Warnings:  Required and recommended labels include display of name, UN Int’l 4 digit #, DOT placards, NFPA diamonds, pictograms and additional warning signs
  1. Design of Facilities:  This section discusses facility features such as actual storage location, rain/sun cover, climate control, storm vulnerability, dispensing lines and connections, telemetry, sensors, retention vehicle barriers, shielding, ventilation and other work site safety engineering.
  1. Preventative maintenance:  This section identifies recommended or required preventative maintenance points at locations including O-rings, gaskets, strainer baskets, fame arrestors, check valves, back flow preventers, piping exposed to UV light etc.
  1. Receiving and Product Delivery Procedure:  This part details procedures to be followed by site managers, plant operators and others that receive chemicals.  Included are safety rules for delivery drivers, routes into receiving centers and other issues related to safe, correct delivery of chemicals. 
  1. Personal Protective Equipment and Fit Testing:  Matches the correct safety gear with hazards found in chemical storage and processing areas.  It designates areas where use of personal protective equipment (PPE) is mandatory, discussed levels of PPE and phases of use and recommends signage and markings calling for specific PPE at certain locations.
  1. Safe Work Practices, Lock-out/Tag-out, Use of PPE Etc.:  Predetermine protocols for various chemical maintenance tasks or emergency procedures etc. are discussed.  Safe procedure includes authorization and notification, use of work zone markers/barriers, PPE/clothing, special tools, shut-down sequencing, replacing covers/guards/conduit and sequencing for return to full service.
  1. Transportation:  Proper securing of chemicals and/or containers on vehicles, state laws addressing transport and additional driver rules are discussed. 
  1. Security:  Municipal and water utility chemical storage facilities could be targets of thieves, vandals and terrorists!  Also, Federal regulations call for certain security measures to be in place at public agency chemical storage sites.  This section covers warning signs, perimeter fencing and gates, surveillance camera systems and regular on site security inspections. 
  1. Common Contact/Illness/Injury/Points:  This section lists the planned and unexpected locations (and common tasks) that generally produce incidents and accidents.  All components of a well-developed chemical safety program are matched with specific circumstances to further refine a proactive accident prevention approach.   
  1. Emergency Response - Minor Spills:  Protection and clean-up methods are discussed for small releases usually discovered in early release stages or while conducting routine maintenance.  It showcases many prepackaged products “kits” for small spills for many common chemicals.  Recommended use of these “kits” along with other safe work practices are covered. 
  1. Emergency Response - Major Spills/Chemical Releases:  Included in this part is the preparation needed for responding to major spills and larger or more critical releases.  Major spills may involve facility or plant evacuations or widespread community “public safety” coordinated evacuations.  Emergency response plans should be developed and adequate training should be provided to communicate response plans to employees.   Additional topics such as advanced PPE needs and the use of fire department Hazmat resources are also discussed. 
  1. Emergency Response - Product Recovery:  Major spills and releases may require a larger volume recovery of product.  Temporary storage of released chemicals may also be required while waiting for recovery teams and equipment (or even vendors) to arrive. Few suppliers will recover product so a list of “non-supplier” recovery options should be compiled and special planning in this area should take place.   
  1. Hurricane/Tropical Storm/Tornado Issues:  Florida public agencies have obvious storm vulnerability due to geographic location.  High winds and flooding can be the cause of the worst accident at the worst time!  We discuss pre, during and post storm preparation and employee activity. 
  1. Inspection of Chemical Facilities:  Important infrastructure and conditions were discussed in the earlier section “Design of Facilities”.  Checking the condition of chemical storage and processing locations is important and the use of a location specific inspection form proves to be the most successful method!  Sample inspection templates are provided to attendees. 
  1. Training/Written Procedure/Inspection Regimen Recommendations:   A final section emphasizes the need to develop written procedure, provide new hire as well as recurrent training and to institute a program of regular employee conducted chemical facility inspections.

Departments Covered in Course


Public Works General



Public Works Fleet Department



Public Works Mosquito Control



Public Works Aquatic Vegetation



Public Works Storm Water



Public Works Fuel Depot



Parks Pools



Parks Landscape



Water Utility Water



Water Utility Waste Water



Water Utility Distribution/Collection



  • $125 per person for public agency personnel
  • $200 per person for private agency personnel

Course Length:

7 hours

Credit Hours

0 Professional Development Hours (PDHs)

0 Continuing Education Credits (CEUs)