The hazardous communication standard (HazCom) issued by OSHA is an important set of processes and procedures designed to help ensure employees are aware of what chemicals they are working with. In addition, they must be informed about the potential dangers associated with the chemicals. One of the main ways that employees know about which chemicals are used in a particular area is by using HazCom labels.
What are HazCom Labels?
HazCom labels come in several different formats depending on the need of a particular situation. They are designed to convey key information about chemicals that are present in an area. The labels can be applied directly to containers where chemicals are stored, on machines where they are used, on trucks that transport the chemicals, and in other relevant areas. Employees will be able to see the labels and at just a glance know what type of risk is present, what personal protection equipment is needed, and more.
Another thing to note when discussing HazCom labels is the fact that they can be the same as GHS labels. These two systems use the same types of pictograms and other aspects, which makes it easy and effective to implement both programs in one area.
What do HazCom Labels Include?
The labels used can come in a variety of different formats. Some labels will simply be the HazCom pictograms. They are in the shape of a diamond with a red outline. On the inside of the diamond is a pictogram that depicts the type of hazard that is present. There are nine different pictograms including fire hazard, pressurized gas, explosive, health risk, and others.
Another type of label will list several different types of risks, each of which are color coded, and a spot for information about the risk. Employers could put a label on a flammable chemical that indicates that it is a serious fire hazard. On this type of label there is also going to be a spot to indicate what type of personal protection equipment should be used when working in the area.
No matter what type of labels a facility decides to use, it is important that employees are trained to read the labels and understand the risks immediately. While these labels aren’t going to have detailed information about every aspect of the chemical, it will have enough for them to be able to take the right precautions to stay safe.
- What are different types of hazard communication?
- What is the HazCom standard?
- What is a HazCom program?
- How many HazCom pictograms are there?
- What are HazCom labels?
- What does the HazCom standard cover?
- When is a HazCom program required?
- How often is HazCom training required?