Friday, October 9, 2015

Steps to an effective hazcom program for employers

5. Inform and Train Employees

  • Train employees on the hazardous chemicals in their work area before initial assignment, and when new hazards are introduced

  • Include the requirements of the standard, hazards of chemicals, appropriate protective measures, and where and how to obtain additional information 

    The third part of the hazard communication approach in HazCom 2012 is employee information and training (paragraph (h) Employee Information and Training). The key requirement is in paragraph (h)(1):
    (h)(1) Employers shall provide employees with effective information and training on hazardous
    chemicals in their work area at the time of their initial assignment, and whenever a new  chemical hazard the employees have not previously been trained about is introduced into their work area. Information and training may be designed to cover categories of hazards (e.g., flammability, carcinogenicity) or specific chemicals. Chemicalspecific information must  always be available through labels and safety data sheets.

    For information and training to be effective, the workers in the training must comprehend the
    hazards in the workplace and ways to protect themselves. OSHA does not expect that workers
    will be able to recall and recite all data provided about each hazardous chemical in the workplace. What is most important is that workers understand that they are exposed to hazardous chemicals, know how to read labels and SDSs, and have a general understanding of what information is provided in these documents, and how to access these tools. Workers must also be aware of the protective measures available in their workplace, how to use or implement these measures, and who they should contact if an issue arises.

    Information and training may be done either by individual chemical, or by hazard classes and
    categories (such as acute toxicity or flammable liquids). 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 classes and categories. Workers must have access to the substance-specific information on the labels and SDSs.

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