Hazard Communication – HAZCOM
HAZCOM implies to employers that are responsible for educating employees about Hazard Communication – HAZCOM and identities of chemicals at workplace to which they are exposed. More than 32 Million workers are exposed to chemical hazards to an estimated 650K products of chemical with addition to more and more on annual basis causing a serious problem to exposed workers and their employers.
Exposure to chemical may cause or contribute to many serious health effects such as heart ailments, central nervous system, kidney and lung damage, infertility, cancer, burns, and rashes. Chemicals also have safety hazards that may cause in to fire and explosion.
In reason to these safety and health preliminaries with lack of understanding from employers and employee, OSHA – Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued Standard for Hazard Communication. These standards make sure that employers and employee know about the hazard at work and prevention which helps reduce incidence from chemical source illness and injuries.
Employers and Employees visit oshapractice.com for their state specific OSHA approved courses that permits them to get up to date learning on standards.
Minimizing Hazards at Workplace
Hazard Communication quality can be assessed with adequacy and accuracy of hazards at workplace. Manufacturers, distributors and operators of chemicals are required to review the hazards of the chemicals and report the information of hazards to employees and employer.
Manufacturers, distributors and operators who are in part of evaluating chemical hazards are responsible for determining the potential cause to health effects and physical hazards.
Necessity of Written Hazard Communication Program
Written Hazard Communication – HAZCOM program allows employers to inform and train their employees; it provides employees to participate in preventative measures that are important in necessary hazards.
Therefore Employers must develop, implement and maintain a written comprehensive hazard communication program at workplace that includes list of hazardous chemicals and provisions by labeling containers, safety data sheets and employee training program. This also includes that employer need to inform employees about non routine task and hazards associated with it. Onsite workplace with multiple employers, legislation require these employers to ensure that information regarding hazards and protective measures need to be informed and communicated to other employers onsite.
Written program must be complied in a summarized and easy to understand language and must be communicated to all the employees and their designated representatives.
Chemicals and labeling
Manufacturers and importers of chemical must handover the information of hazards on specific chemicals by means of labeling containers and material safety data sheets.
Manufacturers, importers, distributors and users of chemicals make sure that chemicals which are in or leaving work-place must be labelled, tagged and named properly with generic and non-generic name. Details of the manufacturer and responsible party must also be stated on chemical containers.
At workplace chemical containers must be labelled and tagged with identifying the chemical hazards in the containment. Warning on hazards can be represented with picture, symbol or words. Also giving details on the hazards that is affected to potential organ. All the labels and tags must be in English and any other language if applicable by regulated body.
MSDS – Material Safety Data Sheets
MSDS is information provided by the manufacturer or importer on chemical and physical properties, hazards on physical and health, exposure for routes, safe use and handling precautions, control measures and procedures for emergency and first-aid.
MSDS must be developed by the manufacturers and importers for each chemical with hazards they produce and import. Transfer of MSDS must be on automated basis so that it is available from handler to handler and user to user. Distributor also makes sure that MSDS is provided to downstream employers.
MSDS must be written in English and include information of chemical and common name. Additionally detail information on characteristics of hazardous chemical, exposure limits, its effects to health and organs, precautionary measure of emergency and first aid procedures. Also details of name, address and phone number of organization responsible of preparing data sheet must be included in label.
Employers are responsible for creating a list of chemicals and its hazards in workplace. After completion it should be checked against MSDS of each chemical.
If the chemical in the workplace with no MSDS is located in workplace the employer should contact manufacturer or distributor immediately to obtain MSDS, for the appropriate handling and measure of chemical in question.
Workers Protection and their Training
Employers are responsible for training and information program for workers who are exposed to chemicals located on-site and in warehouse. These training are to be conducted every time new hazard is introduced to work area in form of chemical.
Topics of discussion must include:
- Communication standards of hazard and its requirements.
- Hazards communication program components in workplace.
- Presence of chemical hazards in operation.
- Availability and placed location of written procedures, communication program, chemical hazards and MSDS forms.
Training plan elements:
- Hazard Communication – HAZCOM Program and its implantation in workplace. How to read and interpret MSDS, and how employees can obtain and use available hazard information.
- Chemical in work area and its hazards, each chemical and hazards must be discussed individually with its hazard type such as flammability.
- Employee measures can take to protect themselves from hazards.
- Procedures from employers can be places to take extra measure for hazards like engineering control, work practice, and use of personal protective equipment.
- Observation and methods such as smell or visual appearance.
Medical Emergency and Disclosure
Manufacturer, importer or employer at the point of emergency and first aid treatment must immediately disclose information on treating physician or nurse when it is required. As the circumstances permit manufacturer, importer and employee may obtain the confidentiality agreement.
REX Training Benefit Employers to Comply
REX Training at oshapractice.com offers wide variety of online training that can help assure employers that employees are well informed and up to date on Hazard Communication – HAZCOM with guidelines of OSHA standards.
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