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5 Steps to HAZCOM Compliance

According to OSHA statistics, Hazard Communication—or HAZCOM— violations are the 2nd most reported violation in the United States.

OSHA’s Hazard Communication standard (1910.1200) outlines the requirements for employers to keep their employees safe from hazardous chemicals.

For compliance with this standard, it’s crucial employers know the 5 key requirements of the rule:

  1. Written program
  2. Chemical inventory
  3. Safety data sheets
  4. Labels
  5. Employee training

First, employers are obligated to have a written HazCom program outlining the protocols and procedures for employees handling hazardous chemicals in their facility, as well as information around specific risks, safety data sheet access information, emergency procedures, and any other necessary information to minimize the occurrence of a physical or health hazard to an employee.

Second, a complete chemical inventory is required. The inventory is a listing of all of the hazardous chemicals on site, which must be current.

Next, companies need to provide access to safety data sheets for each of those hazardous chemicals.  Specifically, the safety data sheets must be “readily accessible”, which means that employees have ready access to the SDS, either online or in print form.

Fourth, any chemicals on site need the appropriate container labels that contain required elements including the product name, manufacturer, signal words, hazards, precautionary statements and pictograms.

Finally, any employee with the potential to be exposed to a hazardous chemical must be trained in each of these facets so that they are prepared with the knowledge to use, store, transport and safely dispose of chemicals.

Training should include guidance on how to read a safety data sheet, safety precautions to be taken when using chemicals, emergency and first aid procedures and the specific hazards of the specific chemicals in their work location.

By implementing these 5 critical elements you will be compliant with all elements of the Hazard Communication law.

Until next time, stay positive and stay safe.