- Should I carry out my own chemical risk assessment?
The chemical safety information that we provide via the SDS and product label represents generic information about the product.
When using any chemical product, we recommend that you carry out a workplace risk assessment. This assessment should include the following:
- Assessment of the chemical product – using the chemical information provided on the SDS.
- Assessment of the specific process/activity where the product is used – for example, NDT method, method of application (spraying, dipping etc), quantity of chemical product being used, duration of exposure etc.
- Assessment of the personnel that will be involved with the process/activity – level of competence, level of training, etc.
- Assessment of current control measures – for example, safe systems of work, local exhaust ventilation, personal protective equipment.
- Final assessment based on all of the above findings.
Within the United Kingdom, the use of chemical risk assessments is mandatory and is covered by the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) regulations.
- What hazards do I need to be aware of when using powdered materials?
Magnaflux EMEA supplies a number of powdered products:
- Activated Carbon
- MG 410
- 1 Grey
- 8A Red
Important points when using these products
In addition to having potential chemical safety hazards, the raw materials within our powdered products will potentially have associated workplace exposure limits (WELs). More specific information on these and the appropriate exposure controls are detailed in Section 3 – Composition/Information on ingredients – and Section 8 – Exposure controls/Personal protection – of the Safety Data Sheet (SDS).
You must also take extra care as powders can form explosive mixtures in air. Details on this are provided in the following SDS sections:
- Section 6 – Accidental release measures.
- Section 7 – Handling and storage.
With the European Union there are two directives for controlling explosive atmospheres:
- Directive 99/92/EC (also known as ‘ATEX 137’ or the ‘ATEX Workplace Directive’) on minimum requirements for improving the health and safety protection of workers potentially at risk from explosive atmospheres.
- Directive 94/9/EC (also known as ‘ATEX 95’ or ‘the ATEX Equipment Directive’) on the approximation of the laws of Members States concerning equipment and protective systems intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres.
If you have concerns about explosion risks, refer to the EU directives above for guidance.
- Are there specific considerations to be aware of when working in confined spaces?
It is not uncommon for an NDT inspection to be carried out in a confined space.
Confined spaces represent a specific hazard where there is the potential risk of death or severe injury from hazardous substances or dangerous conditions, such as a lack of oxygen. As such, a workplace risk assessment for a confined space needs to take extra factors into account.
Consideration also needs to be made to the type of products that are being used within such environments. For example, is it possible to:
- use a bulk product that could be applied using with a brush instead of an aerosol product (where there is a higher risk of airborne product)?
- use a water-based or water-washable product instead of an oil-based or solvent-removeable product?
- when using cleaner, change from spraying onto the part to spraying into a cloth that is then used to clean the part?
- In terms of employee protection, is the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) the only thing I need to think about?
No, it is important that a workplace risk assessment is carried out. As you will see the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is only considered at the point where all other factors to minimise the risk of exposure have been assessed, for example, using local exhaust ventilation.
- Where can I find information on the recommended Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for use with the Magnaflux products?
A summary of the recommended Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) can be found in section 8.2 ‘Exposure Controls’ of our Magnaflux Safety Data Sheets.
- Regarding skin protection for the hands, what factors do I need to consider?
You will find that glove manufacturers refer to the following three factors:
- Breakthrough time – this is the time taken for a product to permeate through the glove. Basically this tells you how long you can use the glove for.
- Permeation rate – this relates to the amount of a product that will go through the glove. The key point here is to choose a glove that has a low permeation rate.
- Degradation – this relates to the fact that some products will attack and degrade the glove material. It is important to choose gloves that have a good degradation rating for the product you are using.
In Section 8.2 of our SDSs you will find clear recommendations on the recommended glove type that take into account the factors listed above.
- What do ABEK and P1, P2 and P3 mean in terms of respiratory protection?
The A, B, E and K denominations refer to the type of gaseous contaminants that respiratory filters are designed to protect the user against. To summarise:
- A (Brown) – organic vapours and gases with boiling points > 65°C
- B (Grey) – inorganic gases excluding carbon monoxide
- E (Yellow) – sulphur dioxide and acidic gases
- K (Green) – ammonia and organic ammonia derivatives
Other vapour and gas filters are as follows:
- AX (Brown) – organic vapours and gases with boiling points < 65°C
- Hg-P3 – mercury
- NO-P3 – oxides of nitrogen
- CO – carbon monoxide
P ratings identify a product’s protection against particles. P3 offers the highest level of protection.
Whilst an AX filter would be more applicable to some of our products – such as WCP-2 and SKD-S2, as these also contain particulate materials – the A2P3 and ABEK P3 filters offer the best compromise as a combined gas/particle filter.
Note that airborne liquids in the form of fine sprays and mists require a particle filter. However, particle filters do not protect against gas or vapour so, when using aerosols or creating an aerosol mist, a combined gas/particle filter, such as A2P3 or ABEK-P3 is recommended.
- Are there specific considerations to be aware of when spraying products?
Airborne liquids in the form of fine sprays or mists require respirators fitted with particle filters. However, particle filters do not protect against gas or vapour so, when spraying products, we recommend using a combined respirator filter, e.g. A2P3 or ABEK-P3.
If the product is classified as an Eye Irrit. 2 or Eye Dam.1, we recommend that tightly-fitting goggles are worn if a fine spray or fog is created.
If creating a fine spray or fog in a confined space, then the user should consider wearing a full face mask respirator fitted with an A2P3 filter, along with protective gloves and a chemically impervious protective suit, to ensure protection from airborne liquids as part of their chemical risk assessment.