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What Do You Know About OSHA Hazard Communication Standards?

set of 9 vector Globally Harmonized System (GHS) Safety Marks for packaging, CLP warning signs

The New Year means a new list of resolutions. We’re one week in, have you or your company tackled any on that list? Something that you should consider focusing on this year, is making sure your company is compliant with OSHA rules and regulations.

In this blog, we want to review one of OSHA’s most cited violations of last year: Hazard Communication. This came in second for most cited. Whether or not this is an issue in your workplace, you should know about the OSHA Hazard Communication Standard.

Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) is defined that companies and workers have knowledge of any certain chemicals that they may be exposed to in the workplace and that they must follow safety precautions and protective measures. However, before the chemical even reaches the workplace, manufacturers and importers are forced to decide the hazard level of the chemical they are creating and sending out through a process called Hazard Determination.

A few examples of possible hazardous substances include:

  • Glues
  • Paints
  • Pesticides
  • Metals

Hazard Determination is the process of checking the health and physical hazards of the chemical, alongside evaluating former data that is available about them. After the testing, the manufacturers must provide information and correct labeling on the shipping containers and material safety data sheets (MSDS) for whoever they are sending too.

On the other side, it is up to employers to create a Hazard Communication program and train their employees to take precautions, finalize that each container is labeled, and be granted access to MSDS’s. The HCS is present for workers to know what dangerous materials they may come in contact with, how to deal with them accordingly, and to protect or reduce the number of workers affected by them.

A few examples of possible side effects if exposed include:

  • Vomiting
  • Headaches
  • Rashes
  • Burns

The OSHA website provides further information into Hazard Communications Standards and has plenty of data, safety sheet examples, and further questions to help you. If you’re dealing with chemicals in the workplace or have run into any problems frequently, you can check out their website.

On another note, if you need any testing, site evaluation, or training courses for Hazard Communication Standards for your employees, contact us and we can set something up. Even if you think you’re following the correct OSHA guidelines, there may be something you’re unaware of and we can help you out.