Classifying the potential hazards of chemicals, and communicating information concerning hazards and appropriate protective measures to employees:
Recently, OSHA has estimated that more than 32 million workers are exposed to 650,000 hazardous chemical products in more than 3 million American workplaces. This poses a serious problem for exposed employers and their employees.
Chemical manufacturers or importers must classify the hazards of the chemicals they produce or import, and develop container labels and safety data sheets to convey hazard information to their downstream customers. Employers must provide information to their employees about the hazardous chemicals to which they are exposed by means of a written hazard communication program, labels and other forms of warning, safety data sheets and employee information and training.
Learn about the requirements of the OSHA Hazard Communication Standard. The resources below include a sample program and OSHA publications to assist with compliance.
In 2012, OSHA revised the Hazard Communication Standard to align with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). Major changes to the Hazard Communication Standard include:
- Hazard classification: provides specific criteria for classification of health and physical hazards as well as classification of mixtures
- Labels: chemical manufacturers and importers will be required to provide a label that includes a signal word, pictogram(s), hazard and precautionary statements, the product identifier and supplier identification
- Safety data sheets: will now have a specified 16-section format
- Information and training: employers were required to train workers by Dec. 1, 2013, on the new label elements and safety data sheets format to facilitate recognition and understanding