Chemical substances present a vast array of health hazards, such as irritation and carcinogenicity, as well as physical hazards like corrosion and flammability. OSHA has compiled a Hazard Communication Standard designed for the purpose of ensuring critical information regarding such hazards and their associated precautionary measures is properly distributed.
OSHA requires chemical manufacturers and importers to assess the hazards and provide information about the dangers of their chemicals by putting labels on the containers and providing detailed material safety data sheets (MSDS). All employers that use hazardous chemicals in the workplace need to implement a written hazard communication program, make sure that all containers are properly labeled, provide access to MSDSs to employees and conduct a training program for employees who might be exposed.
The Hazard Communication Standard educates people on the hazards of the chemicals used in their workplace. With this information, they can effectively participate in protective programs and be better able to protect themselves. When all required actions are taken, the result will be a mitigation of chemically caused workplace injuries and illnesses.
If you're concerned that your workplace fails to recognize the hazards associated with chemicals, try the following solutions:
- Have a MSDS for every chemical on site.
- Provide MSDSs for employees at all times in languages and formats they understand.
- Safely and securely store chemicals.
- Always follow manufacturer instructions for handling hazardous chemicals.
- Train your employees how to read and utilize the MSDS.
- Educate your employees on the risks of each chemical used.
- Have cleanup kits near chemical storage.
- Ensure that staff knows how to clean up spills, protect themselves and properly dispose of hazardous materials.
- Provide and enforce the use of personal protective equipment.
For health and safety training that meets OSHA regulations, contact Safety Advantage today. The well-being of your workers is our top priority.