How to Do Your Own In-House Audit Today
Do you evaluate the hazards associated with chemicals before purchase? Do you let employees know the hazards present in their work area before they start working? Do you perform in-plant transfers of acetylene in cylinders in accordance with CGA G-1? These questions may seem straight forward, even to a chemical novice. (Well, the third question may be a stretch for newbies.) Of course, for those of us working in the chemical industry field, the answers should all be yes. And these questions, along with many others, should be answered during in-house inventory audits on a regular basis.
This month at the ChemSW blog, we are covering fire code reporting. Now that we have gone through how to choose and set-up a chemical inventory management system, here comes the self-check. An in-house audit can certainly be tedious, but it is a very valuable way to stay on top of regulations and prepare for a real audit from a regulatory agency. The EPA not only has the legal right to enter a facility for inspections, it has a mandate to do so. Read on to find out more about self-auditing for fire code compliance. This is the sixth post in a series of posts about fire code reporting.
Plan, Do, Check, Act on your Lab Safety Systems
This is your inventory, so make sure it is under your control. Chemical inventory is easy to keep track of… if no one uses it and it stays in one place. In the real world, chemicals are used, moved, tucked away, and not reordered, so there are challenges to finding a chemical inventory system that works for you.
Create a checklist
Simply figuring out all of the codes that apply to your particular project is like untangling a spider’s web of regulations. Once you have your compliance systems in place, then it is time to make sure the processes work and there are no gaps in the system. If you have a best practices checklist, then most of your work is already done! With your checklist, you can simply go down the list as you walk through your facility and take action to make sure everything is up to par.
Again, the real world adds some tangles to this concept. A lab will need more than one checklist and a site-wide audit means many smaller audits. Making sure chemicals are in the right place in the right amount is very important. With your safety goals in mind, the checklists will take you where you need to go. You can even find standard industrial checklists online. ChemSW has several activity-based checklists in their White Paper “How to Survive a Chemical Inventory Audit.”
Proper regulatory compliance and fire code reporting can save lives. Preparing for an audit can save your hide from the penalties for failing. It is impossible for one person to be everywhere at once and keep every detail of the big picture in their head. Just like there are apps to keep track of music concerts, sports events, and industrial conferences, there is also help to keep track of the lab happenings. As a team of safety professionals and with some help from apps, websites and software, in-house audits are within your reach!