Hazard Communication Implementation

Does your business contain hazardous chemicals? Then you need a hazard communication program. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires a program that includes labels on all hazardous chemical containers, safety data sheets for all hazardous chemicals, and proper training for workers. In addition, each employer must describe in writing the plan for meeting the requirements of the program.

Use the following guidelines to help you implement an effective hazard communication program and build a safer workplace.

Learn the Standard and Identify Responsible Staff

  • Obtain a copy of OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard.
  • Become familiar with its provisions.
  • Make sure that someone has primary responsibility for coordinating implementation.
  • Identify staff for particular activities (e.g., training).

Prepare and Implement a Written Hazard Communication Program

  • Prepare a written plan to indicate how hazard communication will be addressed in your facility.
  • Prepare a list or inventory of all hazardous chemicals in the workplace.

Ensure Containers Are Labeled

  • Keep labels on shipped containers.
  • Label workplace containers where required.

Maintain Safety Data Sheets (SDSs)

  • Maintain SDSs for each hazardous chemical in the workplace.
  • Ensure that SDSs are readily accessible to employees.

Inform and Train Employees

  • Train employees on the hazardous chemicals in their work area before initial assignment and when new hazards are introduced.
  • Include the requirements of the standard, hazards of chemicals, appropriate protective measures, and where and how to obtain additional information.

Evaluate and Reassess Your Program

  • Review your hazard communication program periodically to make sure that it is still working and meeting its objectives.
  • Revise your program as appropriate to address changed conditions in the workplace (e.g., new chemicals, new hazards).
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