Finishing/Chemicals » Hazard Communication

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Employers failing to provide employees with effective information and training on hazardous chemicals is one of the most frequently cited hazards during OSHA inspections. OSHA's Hazard Communication standard, 29 CFR 1910.1200, requires employers to inform their employees about the hazardous substances they handle.

Develop a Hazard Communication or "Right-to-Know" Program. Hazard communication programs have three important components: material safety data sheets (SDSs), training, and labeling requirements.

SDSs contain information on the health and safety hazards of chemicals and recommend appropriate controls. All chemical suppliers must send an SDS for each chemical a company orders. Employers must make these SDSs available to employees at all times.

The Hazard Communication standard requires employers to train their employees about the hazards of the chemicals they handle. Employers must train employees upon initial hire, after a transfer, and when new hazardous substances are introduced into the workplace. Employers must keep a written record of the training they provide.

Employers must ensure that all containers are labeled with information about their contents and about the health hazards of the substance.