Managing risk – to our employees, customers and their end-users – is a responsibility Afton Chemical takes very seriously. Our proactive approach has been formalized in a company-wide Product Prioritization & Risk Characterization Process.
First, we define our products as purchased raw materials and produced components, which are sold or blended into Afton products. We collect all relevant data on the product from internal and external sources, including product use, chemical composition, purity, physico-chemical properties, etc.
Once we’ve identified a product and its properties, its hazard potential is determined through a multi-pronged approach. We gather physical, toxicological and environmental data from suppliers’ SDSs, in-house analytical data, testing, and published scientific literature. We use this information to assess the hazard potential in compliance with these regulations and benchmarks:
OSHA Hazard Communication Standard (29 CFR 1910.1200)
Canadian WHMIS regulations
Afton’s Chemical Hazard Rating System
We then classify the products according to the regulations of the world regions in which they are manufactured or supplied. Finally, the hazard classification for each of our products is published on the SDS supplied to every customer, regardless of whether the product is classified as hazardous or not.
Another key component in Afton’s process is exposure assessment. We consider factors such as product end-use, exposure potential, exposure routes, nature of anticipated exposure, and the amount of material involved in potential exposure. Based on these factors, we determine how much of the material a person or population may be exposed to, were an exposure to occur, and we assign appropriate exposure ratings.
Risk Management is a function of the hazard of a substance and exposure to it (Risk = Hazard x Exposure). In order to best manage this, we take into account the relationship to applicable stakeholders, such as consumers, neighbors, and the environment. Once a product is prioritized and characterized, we develop a specific risk management strategy for the product commensurate with that risk.
This process never ends, and re-evaluations of a product’s risk characterization and management might occur for a number of reasons, including:
Availability of new information through research, analytical or other sources
Changes to Afton’s internal production process
Changes to ingredients
Changes to applicable regulations or standards, etc.