- Hazard Communication Standards (HCS or HazCom) is designed to ensure that workers are trained and are aware of the hazards of the chemicals they are exposed to in the work environment.
- HazCom is now aligned with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals.
- The new system is designed to magnify the “Right to Know” standard in an effort to reduce accidents, injuries, illnesses, and fatalities related to chemicals in the workplace.
- HazCom must be part of every employee’s initial training and an ongoing part of every employee’s continuous training.
- Training on the new product label elements and SDS formats must take place by December 1, 2013, as employees will begin to see these new formats in their workplace.
- The full transition will be ongoing and complete to the GHS by June 1, 2016. If you have not met this requirement we urge you to get compliant.
What is the “Right to Know” Law?
The Right-to-Know refers to workers’ rights to information about chemicals in their workplaces. The federal law that provides these rights is the OSHA Hazard Communication Standard (29 CFR 1910.1200).
Private-sector employers must provide chemical information to their workers under the OSHA standard.
In addition to providing HazCom training, your employer will have a HazCom program that identifies Five elements on how they plan to keep the most valuable asses which is their employees safe.
What are the six key elements in the OSHA Hazcom standard:
- Employers must have a written Hazcom Program.
- Containers must be labeled and labels must follow a consistent format.
- Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) must be readily available for hazardous substances in the workplace.
- Workers must be trained.
- Employers must have an updated chemical inventory.
- The employer must evaluate the program for effectiveness.