Written By YellowBird
July 26, 2022
HazCom, also known as the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS, or HazCom), is a type of training protocol that will keep your business and vendors safe. It ensures and promotes chemical safety in your workplace by making it mandatory to develop and disseminate important information about the identities and hazards related to chemicals.
HazCom (standard number: 29 CFR 1910.1200(g)) is a protocol developed and regulated by OSHA. It ensures that workers, customers, and third parties are adequately protected from
the risks of hazardous chemicals by requiring all employers with these substance forms in their workplaces to do the following:
HazCom also requires chemical importers and manufacturers to do the following:
If your company routinely deals with at least one hazardous chemical, then you need to adopt a HazCom plan. Company types that generally need HazCom training include:
On September 30, 2009, OSHA published a rule aligning HazCom with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS). This meant that HazCom now had
to follow an internationally established set of guidelines for workplace safety.
As a result of aligning with GHS, HazCom has gone through three major areas of change:
HazCom requires chemical manufacturers, importers, and all other employers associated with hazardous materials to set up an information and training program educating employees
on how to protect themselves from the risks of handling hazardous chemicals.
This protocol must include the following information:
The importance of HazCom training goes unsaid. As many businesses interact with highly toxic chemicals and substances, it is the responsibility of employers to best protect their workforce from preventable harm. Even if an accident does occur, the HazCom training will give your employees a step-by-step process on how to seek medical care and/or address the situation.
To maximize the use of HazCom training, you should directly train your staff to recognize and use labels, pictograms, and other essential elements related to HazCom standards.
Any time a new chemical is introduced to your workplace, you need to familiarize your employees with the new substance and update the HazCom plan as needed.
One of the most common issues you may have as an employer associated with hazardous chemicals is the failure of employees to follow protocol or “cut corners” with daily work habits. The protocol should be written down and displayed openly in your place of business.
You should also make sure the written HazCom program reflects what you are specifically going to do when there are changes. For instance, if you are planning to switch to virtual training instead of in-person training, you need to update your protocol. New training should also take place anytime a new chemical is introduced.
Although OSHA HazCom standards are comprehensive, they are not permanent and occasionally receive updates. By taking the initiative to reevaluate your own Hazard Communication Standard protocol regularly, you will boost the effectiveness of your company's plan and better ensure the safety of your workers.
You may have questions or concerns about implementing HazCom training at your workplace. Consider contacting a solutions-based company that matches employers with Environmental
Health & Safety (EHS) professionals, making the hiring process both simple and straightforward.
When you connect with EHS professionals and other regulatory experts from your industry, you can properly train, or retrain, your employees in HazCom protocol. You will lower risks, all while boosting productivity -- the ultimate win-win in your line of work.
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