The Pinky Video

 In 2021, Tip of the Week

Safety Compliance Management, Inc.



To start the New Year off right, we thought we would share one of our favorite videos for our “What’s Wrong” feature.

“This is Pinky, Placer County Animal Shelter’s Pet of theWeek. Pinky is a very loving cat…” Except when he’s not. If we were to ask you to find what is wrong in this video, you’d probably say that the cat does not like leashes, is not in the mood to be starring in a commercial for theanimal shelter, and definitely does not want to be put in a box.

Over the years, SCM has used this video in some of our hazardous materials training classes. What does this video and Pinky have in common with hazardous materials? Here’s a few of our thoughts.

Cats will act and react like cats. When stored and handled according to recommended practices, hazardous materials act and react like hazardous materials. You would expect a flammable material to be capable ofstarting a fire, for example, and you should handle it carefully. How do you know what a chemical will do or how you should expect it to act? Read the Safety Data Sheet (SDS).

Carrying this thought process out a little further, we find that when a hazardous material chemical is not handled or stored as recommended, it will act and react accordingly. If you look at this SDS for Hydrogen Sulfide, a commonly used gas and look at section 7, you will see that it should be stored away from ignition sources. That’s because it is a flammable gas. You place a flammable gas near an ignition source and there’s a chance of an explosive fire.

What happened to Pinky at the end of the video? TheShelter worker dropped the leash and Pinky ran away. We called the Animal Shelter. Pinky was never seen again. What would have happened if the worker had released Pinky’s leash earlier? Pinky would have run away.

What would have happened if the worker let go of theleash sooner? He might not have suffered getting bitten. When dealing with a hazardous material and it seems like things are going wrong, it’s okay to let go of the leash. And it’s good to do it sooner than later. Call for assistance. You may work at a site with trained hazardous materials technicians, and they’d be the first that you should call for help. Or call the fire department for reinforcements. But don’t wait until the situation gets out of control, where you might be the one getting hurt.

You may think of a few more examples of how Pinky is like hazardous materials. We’d be happy to hear from you with your thoughts. Reply to this email or send us a note at


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