HazCom Solutions That Impact First Responders

Too frequently, our nation’s first responders face unknown dangers at locations like university laboratories, factories, warehouses, and other places where hazardous chemicals can be present in large quantities. With the help of MSDSonline, businesses across the country are working to enable their local first responders to quickly and easily access hazardous chemical information through the new Plan1 First Responder Share service.  Plan1 is free for first responders, and also free to all MSDSonline HQ and HQ RegXR Account customers.

Providing this service at no added charge just another sign of MSDSonline’s commitment to seamless, cloud-based EHS solutions that positively impact workplace safety, help prevent injuries, and help save lives.

“Thousands of our customers have access to the service,” said Mike Flynn, VP of product development & strategy at MSDSonline. “When a first responder accepts an invitation from one of our customers to connect, the first responder can immediately access Plan1 on any device connected to the internet — such as a laptop, tablet computer or mobile phone in their fire truck on the way to a call — free of charge.”

The need for this service appears to be immediate and great. According to the National Fire Protection Association, 31% of firefighter fireground deaths are due to explosions or fires interacting with accelerants — almost always due to the presence of hazardous chemicals. An estimated 17,400 American firefighters were exposed to hazardous chemicals, fumes, or radioactivity while responding to emergencies in 2013. And according to a study by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, compared to the general population, firefighters are at twice the risk of contracting mesothelioma, known to be caused by exposure to hazardous chemicals.

One example of a customer finding success with this new service is Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU). Located in New Haven, SCSU has been a leader in teacher and nursing education since 1893, and today it serves a diverse population of over 9,000 students on a 168-acre urban campus. It has several labs and science facilities that maintain chemicals. Using MSDSonline, the university has partnered with firefighters and police to provide them with hazardous chemical inventory information. This allows the first responders to be prepared when they arrive on the scene of an incident, and creates greater safety for faculty, staff, and students, and for the first responders themselves.

“Now if a call comes in to our campus police, they can go directly and find the chemical details of the situation,” said Thomas Struble, SCSU’s Director of Facilities Operations Services. “Before they arrive, they know what’s been spilled. They know whether to ventilate or contain. It’s great.”

Added Mr. Struble: “I think Plan1 is an excellent idea. I don’t know why everyone wouldn’t do it.”

To learn more about SCSU’s success with MSDSonline and Plan1, read their case study here.

You can also see other MSDSonline case studies — including for industries such as chemical manufacturing, general manufacturing, and healthcare — by visiting our Case Studies page.