Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Steps to an effective hazcom program for employers

4. Maintain Safety Data Sheets

  • Maintain safety data sheets for each hazardous chemical in the workplace
  • Ensure that safety data sheets are readily accessible to employees
The second part in the approach to communicating information in HazCom 2012 is to maintain
SDSs (paragraph (g) Safety Data Sheets and Mandatory Appendix D). The SDSs are the source
of detailed information on hazardous chemicals. This includes information for many different
audiences—employers, workers, safety and health professionals, emergency responders, government agencies, and consumers. It is difficult for one document to serve the needs of all of these different audiences since some require much more technical information than others. Therefore, the SDS sections have generally been organized so that the information of most use to exposed workers, emergency responders, and others who do not need extensive technical detail is in the beginning of the SDS, while the more technical information most commonly read by health and safety professionals is located in the later sections. For example, a description of a chemical’s health
effects appears in Section 2, hazard identification, but the toxicological data upon which the
determination of these effects is based appears in Section 11, toxicological information. All of the
sections are available to any reader, but there is a difference between what is necessary for a broader audience (workers and emergency responders, for example), and what might be needed by others designing protective measures or providing medical services.

The SDS requirements in HazCom 2012 are based on an internationally agreed upon 16-section SDS.
This format is based on ANSI Z400.12, so it is most likely already familiar to your employees.
HazCom 2012 establishes section headings for the SDS, as well as the order in which they are to be
provided, and the minimum information required to be included in each section under Appendix D
of the standard. However, the information in some of the sections are non-mandatory because they
address information that involve the requirements of other government bodies, and thus are not
under OSHA’s jurisdiction. Even though these sections are not considered mandatory by OSHA, the headings are still required to be present on the SDS. They will provide useful information for you to address other requirements you may need to follow. The sixteen sections are as follows, with the non-mandatory sections indicated in italics:
1. Identification
2. Hazard(s) identification
3. Composition/information on ingredients
4. First-aid measures
5. Firefighting measures
6. Accidental release measures
7. Handling and storage
8. Exposure control/personal protection
9. Physical and chemical properties
10. Stability and reactivity
11. Toxicological information
12. Ecological information
13. Disposal considerations
14. Transport information
15. Regulatory information
16. Other information

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