OSHA Workplace Hazard Communication Standard

OSHA is making changes to its hazard communication standard which requires employers to notify employees of the presence of hazardous materials in the workplace.  Employers must train applicable employees on label and MSDS changes by December 1, 2013.  This applies to workplaces where employees may be exposed to hazardous chemicals under normal conditions or in foreseeable emergencies and subject them to health hazards through inhalation, ingestion, skin contact, or absorption. All workers who could potentially be exposed to hazardous products such as gasoline and motor oil MUST BE TRAINED.  (Please refer to the OSHA Fact Sheet which can be found on the Resources Section of the Website.)  George Kunz of American Safety and Management Consultants, Inc., advises the following:  1) put a hazard communication program in writing.  The document should explain the training program, labeling system, SDS procedure, and who will oversee the program.  You must be able to produce a written copy of your program if anyone asks for it; 2) train employees on the points laid out in the OSHA Fact Sheet; 3) go to the www.osha.gov website, click the publications tab at the top, and read down the listing to the Hazard Communication Standard to find links for pictograms, labels, and the December 1, 2013, training; 4) print the pictograms from the OSHA website, enlarge them, laminate them, and post them around the work site as a reminder to your employees.  This shows OSHA you have tried to comply with the training rule.  (The advice from George Kunz was taken from Oil Express, Volume XXXVI, Issue No. 42, dated October 28, 2013.)