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April 1, 2010
03/10 ISSUE 63
TELEPHONE: 1800 558 555 (confidentiality assured)
Seaworthy is produced by the Directorate of Navy Safety Systems in the interests of promoting
safety in the Navy. The contents do not necessarily reflect Ser vice policy and, unless stated
otherwise, should not be construed as orders, instructions or directives – KEEP NAVY SAFE .
Be chem alert
By WO Col Simmons
WHAT IS CHEM ALERT?
CHEM Alert has been available through
the Defence Restricted Network (DRN)
and disconnected for remote sites and
N avy ships since September 2004.
It is commercial off the shelf soft-
ware, designed to assist organisations
to achieve compliance with state and
federal regulations for the management
of hazardous substances and dangerous
Chem Alert provides Defence per-
sonnel and contractors access to a data-
base to obtain and print information on
hazardous substances and dangerous
goods, including original manufacture
Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS),
general information (synonyms and
ingredients), health hazards, environmen-
tal precautions, PPE , first aid, emergency
procedures, safe handling, physical and
chemical properties. Users can also print
emergency information panels (for dis-
play on storage containers and vehicles)
and container labels (these must be used
where chemicals are decanted into small-
er batches and not used immediately).
WHO SHOULD BE USING
The use of Chem Alert to support
hazardous substances management was
mandated for all Navy ships, establish-
ments and Australian Navy Cadet (ANC)
Training Ships in May 2009. Members
holding the Hazardous Substances Safety
Officer (HSSO) proficiency were provid-
ed with access during training to log on
and use the Chem Alert Stock Inventory
and Risk Management modules.
LATEST CHANGES TO
Responsibility for HSSO training
has transitioned to DTA-LOG with this
training now linked to members in Fleet
and establishment billets with a position
prerequisite proficiency, as opposed to
the previous arrangement of whole ship
All Defence employees or contractors
with access to the DRN can access Chem
Alert and Chem Alert eLearning tutorials
through the OHS Branch – MSDS Chem
Alert webpage http://ohsc.defence.gov.
au/msds/default.htm without a logon.
Logon access is only required where
personnel are responsible for maintaining
the hazardous substance/dangerous goods
inventory at a Defence site or ship.
A disconnected version of Chem Alert
is available to all Navy Fleet units via
the Fleet Information Systems Support
Organisation and through Cadetnet for
ANC Training Ships.
For further information about Chem
Alert visit http://ohsc.defence.gov.
au/msds/default.htm or email ohsc.
Navy – can do safely
Chem Alert is the registered trademark of
Risk Management Technologies Pty Ltd.
IT IS not the job of the Ship’s
Safety Team (SST) or Safety
and Emergency Management
Committee (SEMC) alone to report
workplace safety hazards.
Anyone who observes an unsafe
practice or a suspect piece of equip-
ment should alert others to the poten-
The Report Incidents Prevent
Accidents (RIPA) form is a simple
way to report a hazard you may come
across in your work that cannot easily
or immediately be rectified.
The RIPA can be completed by
anyone and should be handed to a
representative of the SST or SEMC
as soon as possible after comple-
tion. The SST or SEMC representa-
tive may confer with subject matter
experts before putting the RIPA for-
Report incidents, prevent accidents
Is your ship or establishment’s stock of
RIPAs running out? Send an email to navy.
firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know
exactly how many you need.
ward to the remainder of the SST or
SEMC team at their next meeting. An
ad-hoc meeting can be organised if
considered more urgent.
The RIPA will be recorded in the
ship’s OHS Log. It can be followed up
in one of two ways:
➤ either transfer to the ship’s Defect
Log for on board rectification; or
➤ raise an OHSIR to seek outside
assistance or advise the wider Fleet/
Navy community of a perceived
Where possible, the SST or SEMC
will inform the person who reported
the hazard when it is resolved.
RECENTLY, there has been an increase
in the number of electrical shocks and
near misses in the Fleet.
It is vital to remember that com-
placency and electricity never mix.
Electricity is dangerous and will kill
you if you don’t give it the attention and
respect it deserves.
An electric shock can result in any-
thing from a slight tingling sensation to
death. The severity of the injury depends
upon the magnitude, path, duration and
frequency of the current. If the current
is at a certain limit and crosses the heart
it is possible for the normal rhythm of
the heart to be interrupted. This result is
almost certain to be fatal.
To put things in perspective, this is
the type of injury you would typically
expect from a one-second flow of elec-
tricity from your hand to your foot (1000
milliamps is equal to one amp).
➤ 1 milliamp – unaffected.
➤ 5 milliamps – faint tingle.
➤ 6-30 milliamps (some household
appliances) – in some cases individu-
als cannot let go; it can also throw you
away. Involuntary reactions can lead to
➤ 50-150 milliamps (most household
appliances, power tools) – extreme
pain, respiratory arrest. Death is pos-
➤ 1000-4300 milliamps – death likely.
➤ 10,000 milliamps – death probable.
The bottom line is that there is no
hard or fast rule on the amount of elec-
tricity it will take to kill or seriously
injure you because there are so many
variables. Regardless of how much volt-
age you work on develop safe working
Some safe working habits:
➤ Before using test equipment make sure
you test it on a known source first.
➤ Even when the source is removed,
some electricity might remain. To be
absolutely sure, before you touch any-
thing, test the circuit.
➤ Know the proper isolation and tag out
procedures for the equipment you are
➤ Don’t take somebody else’s word that
the power is off; always check and
double-check this yourself!
➤ Metal is a conductor so leave your
jewellery somewhere else when work-
ing with electricity.
➤ If you’re not authorised or qualified;
don’t play with it.
Information on Electrical Hazard and Danger
Warning Sign Policy in the RAN can be found
in DI(N) LOG 34-4.
Information on the use of Danger Tags,
Danger Tag Log Book & Tag Out Procedures
can be found in DI(N) LOG 72-5 .
Electricity complacency kills
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