Occupational Safety and Health Course for
Recognize the purpose of the hazard
Describe the components of a hazard
Discuss the application of this standard in
About 32 million workers work with and are
potentially exposed to one or more chemical
There are approximately 650,000 existing
chemical products, and hundreds of new ones
being introduced annually.
Chemical exposure may cause or contribute to
many serious health effects such as heart
ailments, central nervous system damage, kidney
and lung damage, sterility, cancer, burns, and
Some chemicals may also be safety hazards and
have the potential to cause fires and explosions.
1. To make sure that the hazards of
chemicals are evaluated.
2. To assure that the information
concerning the hazards is
communicated to employers and
A hazardous chemical, as defined by the Hazard
Communication Standard (HCS), is any chemical
which can cause a physical or a health hazard.
This determination is made by the chemical
manufacturer, as described in 29 CFR
OSHA’s Hazard Communication (HazCom) standard
applies to general industry, shipyard, marine terminals,
longshoring, and construction employment and covers
chemical manufacturers, importers, employers, and
employees exposed to chemical hazards.
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.
Employees 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.
Employers are required to provide information to
employees about the hazardous chemicals to which they
are exposed using:
◦ A hazard communication program
◦ Labels and other forms of warnings
◦ Material safety data sheets (MSDS)
◦ Information and education.
• Any hazardous waste subject to regulations issued under that
Act by the Environmental Protection Agency;
• Tobacco or tobacco products;
• Wood or wood products, that the only hazard they pose to
employees is the potential for flammability or combustibility
(wood treated with covered chemicals are not exempt);
• Drugs, cosmetics, consumer products, nuisance particulates
that pose no hazard, radiation, and biological agents.
Employers must develop a written program that covers
◦ Labels and other forms of warnings
◦ Material Safety Data Sheets
◦ Employee Information and Training
All workplaces where employees are
exposed to hazardous chemicals must
have a written plan.
The plan does not have to be lengthy
The written program must cover at least:
◦ A list of the hazardous chemicals known to be present at the
facility along with MSDS’s for each chemical.
◦ The methods the employer will use to inform employees
of the hazards non-routine tasks.
◦ The hazards of chemicals in unlabeled pipes.
The employer must make the written program available,
upon request, to:
◦ Employees and their designated representatives
If work is carried out at more than one location, the
program may be kept at the main location.
The employer must ensure that each container of hazardous
chemicals in the workplace is labeled, tagged or marked with
◦ Identity of the hazardous chemical
◦ Appropriate hazard warnings
This above labeling information is required of the
manufacturer so the employer must ensure that the original
labels from the manufacturer are on all containers and
Must be in English and include information regarding the
specific chemical identity and common names
Must provide information about the:
◦ Physical and chemical characteristics
◦ Health effects
◦ Exposure limits
◦ Carcinogenicity (cancer-causing)
◦ Identification (name, address, and telephone number) of
the organization responsible for preparing the sheet
Must be readily accessible to employees in their work area
Prepared by the chemical manufacturer or importer
Physical hazards, such as fire and explosion
Health hazards, such as signs of exposure
Routes of exposure
Precautions for safe handling and use
Emergency and first-aid procedures
Manufacturers, importers, distributors and
employers who become newly aware of
significant information regarding chemical
◦ Revise the labels for the chemical within three
◦ Revise the MSDS for the chemical within three
One difference between this rule and many others
adopted by OSHA is that this one is performance-
That means that you have the flexibility to adapt the rule
to the needs of your workplace, rather than having to
follow specific, rigid requirements.
Compile a complete list of the potentially
hazardous chemicals in the workplace.
Determine if you have received material safety
data sheets for all of them.
If any are missing, contact the supplier and
Do not allow employees to use any chemicals
for which you have not received an MSDS.
If employees of other employers could be exposed to
hazardous chemicals the program must include:
◦ Methods to provide contractor employees with on-site
access to MSDS for each chemical those workers may be
◦ The methods used to inform other employers of any
precautionary measures to be taken for normal and
◦ The employer’s chemical labeling system.
◦ Examples in healthcare?
Employers must provide employees information
and education on hazardous chemicals in their
◦ At the time of their initial assignment;
◦ Whenever a new physical or health hazard the
employees have not previously been trained about is
introduced into their work area.
Education may cover categories of hazards.
Employers must inform employees:
◦ Of the training requirements of this section (1910.1200 (h)
Employee information and training.);
◦ Any operations in their work area where hazardous
chemicals are present;
◦ The location and availability of the written hazard
Employee education shall include at least:
◦ The means to detect the presence or release of a hazardous
chemical in the work area;
◦ The physical and health hazards of chemicals in the work area;
◦ Measures employees can take to protect themselves;
◦ PPE if appropriate;
◦ Details of the employers’ specific program.
If there are only a few chemicals in the workplace,
then you may want to discuss each one individually.
Where there are large numbers of chemicals, or the
chemicals change frequently, you will probably want
to train generally based on the hazard categories
(e.g., flammable liquids, corrosive materials,
Large volume liquids in storage
Paint, paint thinner
The rule does not require employers
to maintain records of employee
training, but many employers choose
to do so. Hazard
This can help in monitoring a Hazard
Communication program to ensure
that all employees are appropriately
Think safety, not just compliance!