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HAZCOM Overview

Learning Objectives

  • Recognize the purpose and importance of a hazard communication program
  • Recognize common physical and health hazards associated with hazardous chemicals
  • Identify chemicals and their hazards, through labeling, markings, pictograms, and warning practices
  • Identify the purpose and components of a Safety Data Sheet

Available in English, Spanish

10 Minutes

The goal of this lesson is for employees to recognize and understand how to identify chemical hazards using the GHS international classification of chemical hazards, label elements, and Safety Data Sheets. This lesson does not address the use of labels, markings or other communication methods that are employer or facility-specific and not within the scope of this lesson.

According to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), the Globally Harmonized System (GHS) covers over 43 million workers who produce or handle hazardous chemicals in more than 5 million workplaces across the country. The GHS is estimated to prevent over 500 workplace injuries and illnesses and 43 fatalities annually, and result in cost savings to American businesses of more than $475 million in productivity improvements, fewer safety data sheet and label updates, and simpler new hazard communication training.

The purpose of the globally harmonized system (GHS) is to standardize how we communicate about chemical hazards in the workplace. OSHA has adapted its Hazard Communication Standard to align with the globally harmonized system.

The Hazard Communication Standard identifies these categories of physical hazards; flammables, explosives, reactives, corrosives, oxidizers, and gases under pressure.

Industrial businesses are required to have a written hazard communication program and to provide workers with additional training regarding site-specific chemicals.

The core of your company’s hazard communication program should consist of three key areas: Chemical Inventories and Safety Data Sheets (SDS); Labels and Warnings; Hazards Training

Course Outline
  • Hazard Communication Overview
  • 29 CFR 1910.1200, Hazard Communication Standard, Appendix A - E
  • OSHA Publication Number 3084, Chemical Hazard Communication
  • OSHA Part 1910, Subpart Z, Toxic and Hazardous Substances
  • The American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) listing of Threshold Limit Values for Chemical Substances and Physical Agents in the Work Environment