Robert DiCarlo: Death of restaurant worker prompts chemical training officer to offer advice

Published: 11/22/2019 2:52:47 PM
Modified: 11/22/2019 2:52:34 PM

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration and Massachusetts have laws requiring training and labeling about working with or handling hazardous substances in the workplace.

While working as the training officer for Environmental Health and Safety at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, we pioneered in the training and developed the first Massachusetts Right-to Know Training Program that was adopted by the Massachusetts Department of Labor and used throughout the state and country.

The UMass program was used as the training model for others to follow. The Buffalo Wings recent incident in Burlington, in which a worker died earlier this month after being exposed to a powerful cleaning agent, cries out for the need to make sure that this type of thing does not happen. No one wants to see a loved one hurt, of worse, when they go to work. OSHA will conduct an investigation into this tragic incident.

Here are a couple of tips:

1. Substitute less or non-hazardous substances when possible

2. Label all containers — bleach, vinegar and vodka all look the same. Most people overkill when they choose cleaning agents. Did you know that plain water is still the best solvent. Most people are in a hurry and want the job done yesterday. They just can’t wait.

Robert DiCarlo

Amherst




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