Hazard communication refers to the process of communicating information about hazardous chemicals or materials to workers and other potentially exposed individuals. It involves labeling of containers, provision of safety data sheets, and training workers on the hazards associated with the chemicals they may be working with. The goal is to ensure that workers are informed and protected from the potential risks associated with the chemicals in their workplace. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has outlined the necessary steps of an effective hazard communication program for employers to use.
OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard (HCS)
It is important for employers and employees to know and understand OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard (HCS). Copies of it can be obtained on OSHA’s website here: ]https://www.osha.gov/hazcom]
Responsibility for implementation of hazard communication should be assigned to someone to coordinate. The person designated for overall program coordination should then identify staff to be responsible for particular activities, such as training.
2. Implement a Written Hazard Communication Program
Every company should establish their own written plan to determine how hazard communication will be conducted in the facility. The individual or individuals writing the plan should be sure to include a list of inventory of all the hazardous chemicals in the workplace.
3. Ensure Containers are Labeled
Keep labels on shipped containers
Label workplace containers where required
Chemical manufacturers and importers are required to provide labels on shipped containers with the following information: product identifier, signal word, pictograms, hazard statements, precautionary statements, and the name, address and phone number of the responsible party. As the employer, you are required to ensure that containers in the workplace are labeled. You may use the same label from the supplier or you may label workplace containers with alternative labels. Whatever method you choose, your workers need to have access to the complete hazard information.
4. Maintain Safety Data Sheets (SDSs)
Safety data sheets are the source of detailed information on a particular hazardous chemical. Employers must maintain copies of SDSs for all hazardous chemicals present in their workplaces. All safety data sheets should be regularly maintained, and readily available to employees.
5. Train Employees
Before employees begin their initial assignment, they must be trained on all the hazardous materials in the work area. Employees must also be aware of the protective measures available in their workplace, how to use or implement these measures, and whom they should contact if an issue arises.
Lastly, employees should evaluate and reassess their hazard communication program periodically. This ensures that it is still meeting its objectives and up-to-date. At Frontier Industrial Corp., maximizing the safety of our employees is our top priority. Please contact us today to learn about our construction services or to get started on a project.