End User Safety Communications
For the first 100 years of the Compressed Gas Association’s history, our members’ products were used almost exclusively in heavy industry – steelmaking, chemical production, food freezing – as well as in medical gas applications. But, in recent years, we have seen a growing number of these products used in applications that are either very close to, or at the consumer level: from retail shops selling liquid nitrogen ice cream, to marijuana processing for CBD oil extraction, to patients’ in-home use of medical oxygen.
While we can’t tell individuals how to use our products for specific applications at the consumer level, we are ramping up efforts to more widely communicate the safety considerations and risks involved in using our products. We are also communicating strategies to mitigate those risks, so that users at all levels of experience and expertise can protect themselves, their customers and their communities.
The goal with all CGA’s end user safety communications will be to communicate basic safety and hazard information using clear language and compelling visuals, which can be easily understood by an end user with no technical knowledge about our industry’s products. At the same time, this safety information will be based on, and directly linked to, positions in CGA’s extensive library of safety publications.
We are launching this communications initiative with a line of end user safety posters, to be developed over the course of the next year. Topics under consideration include the safe use of liquid nitrogen, home oxygen use safety, and nitrous oxide abuse and misuse.
We plan to use a multi-faceted approach to distribution, including publishing product-specific webpages, with additional information and resources for each poster in the line. Posters will be available in hard copy and as electronic downloads, which will be fully scalable, allowing users to print in multiple sizes, and to add branding, as needed. The posters will include a QR code, enabling readers to quickly access supplementary information on-demand.
The first posters are expected to be released in the first quarter of 2020. Electronic downloads of the posters will be free.
We’re Re-imagining CGA’s Handbook of Compressed Gases
CGA also recently embarked on a major re-design and re-imagining of our Handbook of Compressed Gases, which for decades has been widely recognized as a comprehensive resource of information on industrial, food, and medical gases, containers and equipment, industry processes, and more.
The Handbook is intended to serve the needs of a broad audience, including workers, supervisors, managers, students, teachers, engineers, and scientists. The diversity of people who need to familiarize themselves with the subject of compressed gases, cryogenic liquids, and related equipment reflects the pervasive role these materials play throughout our society.
The time has now come to convert the Handbook to an interactive, digital format, in order to better serve the needs of this diverse audience.
As a part of this initiative, we plan to:
- Facilitate access across a variety of devices, including mobile
- Create a new digital resource that provides essential information about our industry’s products and operations
- Evaluate content against audience needs and adjust accordingly
- Update content to reflect current requirements, practices, and new technology
- Link to other CGA publications and resources, enhancing readers’ learning opportunities
- Provide essential safety information to the public free of charge
This modernization effort is expected to take several years, with gas monographs becoming available in late 2021 and additional content converting to the new format by late 2023.
Our eLearning Library Continues to Grow
We recognize that some of our safety standards, which have been developed by world-class experts, can be technically dense, even intimidating, to those who are new to the subject matter.
That’s why we created our growing library of eLearning modules. These innovative training resources are designed to provide a helpful roadmap for employees who may need more extensive coaching in how to safely handle and work with compressed gases. They explore simple concepts presented in a concise, easy-to-follow format, and include video demonstrations and quizzes to ensure the viewer is absorbing the content.
These eLearning modules have become the latest benefit added to the CGA-GAWDA partnership. Participating GAWDA members now have free access to CGA’s eLearning modules for their employees.
There are currently a total of six training modules in CGA’s eLearning library:
- TM-1, eLearning: Safe Handling and Storage of Compressed Gases
- TM-2, eLearning: Safe Handling of Acetylene Cylinders
- TM-3, eLearning: Safe Handling of Cryogenic Liquids in Portable Containers
- TM-4, eLearning: Filling of Uninsulated Carbon Dioxide Cylinders
- TM-5, eLearning: Filling of High-Pressure Medical Oxygen Cylinders
- TM-6, eLearning: Filling of High-Pressure Industrial Gas Cylinders
In the coming months, we’ll continue adding more titles.
CGA-GAWDA Partnership: Congratulations to 2019 Safety Award Winners!
The CGA and GAWDA Distributor Safety Award honoring the participating GAWDA distributor member companies that have shown the greatest improvement in safety performance, was presented at the 2019 GAWDA Annual Conference. S.J. Smith Co., Inc., of Davenport, Iowa, won the award for the category of more than 100,000 Employee Exposure Hours. Willard C. Starcher, Inc., of Spencer, West Virginia, won the award for the category of 100,000 or Fewer Employee Exposure Hours. This award recognizes these companies’ safety improvement during the 2018 calendar year.
Of special note: Willard C. Starcher, Inc. received the same award for the category of 100,000 or Fewer Employee Exposure Hours during the award’s inaugural year.
Congratulations to S.J. Smith Co., Inc. and Willard C. Starcher, Inc. for winning this prestigious award!
First launched in 2011, the partnership between GAWDA and the Compressed Gas Association provides participating GAWDA distributor members with complimentary access to CGA’s electronic safety publication library (enabling one employee per company location to gain free access to CGA’s library of over 330 electronic publications for a total value of more than $19,000 per user).
To be eligible for this unique member benefit, your company:
Must be a GAWDA distributor member in good standing, and
Must participate in the CGA & GAWDA Distributor Reporting and Safety Awards Program (requires annual submission of OSHA 300A safety data to CGA – for all companies with 11 or more employees)
How to Get Access to CGA’s Resources for Your Team
Want to give your employees access to these invaluable resources at no charge? Sign up to participate in the cooperative program between GAWDA and CGA.
If you work for a GAWDA distributor member and would like to learn more about applying to have your company participate in this valuable program, check out these links:
CGA Website: https://portal.cganet.com/GAWDA.aspx
GAWDA Website: https://www.gawda.org/resources/cga-subscription-program/
We welcome your participation in this invaluable program, which continues to grow and flourish.