Hazard Communication Programs & Resources
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In order to ensure chemical safety in the workplace, information must be available about the identities and hazards of the chemicals. OSHA's Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) requires the development and dissemination of such information:
- Chemical manufacturers and importers are required to evaluate the hazards of the chemicals they produce or import, and
- Prepare labels and material safety data sheets (MSDSs) to convey the hazard information to their downstream customers.
- All employers with hazardous chemicals in their workplaces must have labels and MSDSs for their exposed workers, and train them to handle the chemicals appropriately.
Over 30 million American
workers are exposed to hazardous chemicals in their
workplaces. The Occupational Safety and Health
Administration's (OSHA) Hazard Communication Standard
(HCS) is intended to ensure that these workers and their
employers are informed of the identities of these
hazardous chemicals, associated health and safety
hazards, and appropriate protective measures. The HCS
covers some 650,000 hazardous chemical products found in
over three million establishments.
Since the HCS was adopted 20 years ago, the availability of chemical information in workplaces has increased dramatically, and the provision of labels and MSDSs with products has become a standard business practice. Surveys have shown that employers rely on MSDSs to select less hazardous substitutes, as well as to help them identify appropriate protective measures. In addition to these workplace uses of hazard information, MSDSs have evolved into sources of information on other aspects of chemical use.
Hazard Communication (29 CFR 1910.1200)