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Safety guides and audits to make your job as a safety professional easier

Chemical Hazards

Safety Data Sheets (SDS)

It’s important to conduct this inspection to make sure that all classified chemicals are properly documented and labeled. More information on this topic can be obtain at 29 CFR 1910.1200.

Chemical Storage Locations

List each area where chemicals are stored and make sure the locations are properly and clearly labeled.

Inventory Current

Check that the inventory list matches the chemicals present. Efforts should be made to limit chemicals on the rig to those needed for day-to-day operations.

Document Dating

Printed copies of SDS should be clearly dated to determine if the information provided is current. Chemicals that are new to the system should be reviewed with all crews at weekly safety meetings. A brief run through of the data sheet, discussion of chemical use and storage, and proper PPE requirements for handling and mixing should be provided. Mud chemical companies can be of great assistance in providing updated training as they must provide SDS information for all the chemicals they send out to the rig.

Note: The NIOSH HazCom Writer is a free software program from NIOSH designed to help companies write their OSHA and MSHA required HazCom plans and list all hazardous chemicals at a company’s site.

Document Dating (Continued)

Right to Know Information

It is required that information regarding employees “Right to Know” about chemicals in the workplace be posted on the rig in the change house or the doghouse. Different states may have different requirements regarding the proper postings, so review laws closely if the rig has moved across state lines.

Emergency Numbers

Numbers of chemical response information services should be posted along with other emergency numbers. When calling these information services, you should have all the information provided on the original packaging so the service can find and communicate the necessary information to emergency response personnel.


SDS should be attached to all new chemicals shipped to the rig. Always request current SDS information when ordering or reordering chemicals. Chemical suppliers have an obligation to provide current information with any chemicals they offer for sale or transport. Revisit SDS requests every week until the proper documentation has been provided. Prior to new mud companies coming on the rig, they should provide complete SDS information for all chemicals they intend to use on your rig.

Chemical Storage


To ensure that chemicals are stored properly and do not present a hazard to employees or the environment. For more information see: 29CFR1910.1200.

Chemical Storage Locations

List each area where chemicals are stored. Examine the chemicals and storage area for each issue below. Take the time to examine other areas of the rig for chemicals not in their proper location.

Stored as Instructed

Every effort should be made to store chemicals on the rig as instructed by the manufacturer. Consideration for wet and dry locations, direct sun light, hot or cold locations, among other things, may be noted in the SDS or on the packaging. Whenever possible store chemicals in their original containers.


Make sure that chemicals are not incompatible with other chemicals they are stored near. For instance, Caustic Soda should never be stored around acids or chemicals with a low PH. It should never be stored where it can be damaged by water. Pressurized containers should not be stored where they are subjected to heat that can cause them to over pressure. Special precautions should be taken with propane bottles and other compressed flammable gases to ensure they do not leak or relieve pressure in enclosed areas.

Chemical Storage (Continued)

Signs and Postings

Ensure that storage areas are properly posted as to their contents and any warnings that may be necessary.


Department of Transportation (DOT) markings may be required on buildings housing chemicals during rig moves or building transport. Cabinets and storage bins used for chemical storage must be labeled. Outside storage areas containing hazardous chemicals must have signs and be clearly defined.

Containers and Marking

The law requires that chemicals, regardless of the container they are stored in, must be clearly marked as to contents and health hazards. A system for marking and communicating chemical information should be part of the rig’s safety program. Ensure that chemical storage on the rig complies with company rules.

Chemicals must never be stored or transported in water bottles, cups, or cans that have contained or could contain fluids for human consumption.

Spill Reporting and Clean Up

Chemical spills can be a serious environmental exposure. Local, State, and Federal laws may apply to spills of highly hazardous chemicals. Ensure that any release of hazardous chemicals is reported to your supervisor. Always follow clean up and disposal instructions included in the appropriate SDS.

Compressed Gas

The purpose of this inspection is to ensure that gas cylinders are stored properly and do not present a hazard to employees. For more information see: 29CFR1910.101 – 104, DHHS (NIOSH) Publication Number 2004-101, and local emergency response agencies.

Storage Locations

List each area where compressed gas cylinders (bottles) are stored. Enclosed areas used for the storage of compressed gas cylinders should be ventilated to prevent an accumulation of gas. Gas cylinders should be stored upright and immobilized by chains or other means to prevent them from being knocked over. All stored compressed gas cylinders, including empty cylinders, must have the valves closed and the caps installed. Compressed gas cylinders should not be exposed to heat.

In use Cylinders

Dedicated racks should be available to hold nitrogen bottles that are used for backup on accumulator systems. Portable compressed gas cylinder racks for welding and cutting should be in good repair and the cylinders should have protection around the valves should the rack tip over. When moving gas cylinders from one place to another, the gauges should be removed and the caps installed to protect the valve.

Compressed Gas (Continued)


Compressed gas cylinders containing different types of gases should be marked and stored separately so that they can be easily identified to avoid confusion. Stored oxygen and acetylene cylinders should have a fire resistant partition between them; if this is not possible, they should be stored 20 feet apart.

Signs and Postings

Storage racks and areas should be clearly marked with the required placards and type of gas stored in each area with appropriate warning signs.

Cylinder Inspection

Compressed gas cylinders should be clean and undamaged and the valve system functioning properly. The bottom of the cylinder should be protected from the ground and they should be inspected for corrosion, pitting, cuts, gouges, digs, bulges, neck defects and general distortion. The cylinders must be clearly marked as to contents and expiration date, and the inspection date should be current. Compressed gas cylinders that have reached their expiration date should be removed and returned to a distributor for reconditioning or disposal.

Right-To-Know Information

Community Right-To-Know laws may apply to buildings and storage sheds that would need to be marked for the purpose of emergency response. Information regarding local requirements can be found by contacting the local fire department or emergency response agency.


Before beginning this quiz, we highly recommend you review the module material. This quiz is designed to allow you to self-check your comprehension of the module content, but only focuses on key concepts and ideas.

Read each question carefully. Select the best answer, even if more than one answer seems possible. When done, click on the "Get Quiz Answers" button. If you do not answer all the questions, you will receive an error message.

Good luck!

1. When inspecting for chemical hazards on the rig site, ensure all new chemicals shipped to the rig include _____.

2. When inspecting for chemical hazards on the rig site, ensure chemicals are never stored or transported in containers that could contain _____.

3. When inspecting, check to make sure all stored compressed gas cylinders, including empty cylinders, comply with all of the following, except _____.

4. Compressed gas cylinders containing different type gases should be marked and stored _____ so that they can be easily identified to avoid confusion.

5. Compressed gas cylinders should be protected from the ground and inspected for each of the following, except _____.

Have a great day!

Important! You will receive an "error" message unless all questions are answered.