What is OSHA's hazard communication standard and who needs it?
The Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) is based on a simple concept - that employees have both a need and a right to know the hazards and identities of the chemicals they are exposed to when working. They also need to know what protective measures are available to prevent adverse effects from occurring. The HCS is designed to provide employees with the information they need.
OSHA regulation requires every employer and workplace have a written hazard communication policy and every employee knows what protective measures are available to prevent adverse effects from occurring.
A written hazard communication policy ensures that all employers receive the information they need to inform and train their employees properly and to design and put in place employee protection programs. It also provides necessary hazard information to employees, so they can participate in, and support, the protective measures in place at their workplaces.
The regulation requires that you train your employees about the hazards and identities of the chemicals they may be exposed to in the workplace, and what protective measures are available to prevent adverse effects from occurring. Msds sheets contain that necessary information. Employers must make the sheets available to their employees, and use them to provide training based on the manufacturer's recommendations. The exact training methods and the MSDS sheets must be included in the written hazard communication policy.
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