The hazardous communications program was developed by OSHA to help improve workplace safety in areas where dangerous chemicals are used. The system is intended to make it easier for employees to be able to quickly identify what type of chemical in in an area, what type of hazards can be related to the chemical, and what they need to do to stay safe. Providing employees with training on the HazCom system is an important step in ensuring everyone is able to take advantage of this proven system.
Understanding HazCom Labels
One part of the training program is going to be focused on showing employees the various HazCom labels. These labels are applied to chemicals, vehicles transporting dangerous chemicals, and much more. Teaching employees how to read these labels will allow them to gather the information they need at just a glance.
Learning the HazCom Pictograms
Another step is going to be focused on the HazCom pictograms. These are a set of nine different simple pictures that are used to indicate what type of hazard a specific chemical has. Common pictogram meanings are flammable, corrosive, explosive, and more. Employees should be able to see a pictogram in the facility and understand exactly what it means. While pictograms don’t specify the exact chemical in question, it will give valuable information related to the type of danger that is present.
Incorporating the Globally Harmonized System
Whenever implementing a HazCom standard in a workplace, it is important to also learn about the Globally Harmonized System (GHS). This system also uses visual communication standards (which are compatible with HazCom) to convey important information about potentially hazardous chemicals. Covering both of these subjects in a training program will help to ensure employees have a comprehensive understanding of chemical safety.
Responding to Hazardous Situations
Finally, employees should learn how to respond to potentially hazardous situations. This starts by reviewing the HazCom labels. On one section of these labels is a white box that can be used to indicate what type of personal protection equipment needs to be worn in the area. In addition, the pictograms can help to instruct employees on how they can keep themselves and others in the area safe. Taking the necessary safety precautions whenever working with dangerous chemicals will help to avoid accidents and minimize the risk at all times.
- How often is HazCom training required?
- What does the HazCom standard cover?
- How does OSHA define a hazardous chemical?
- What is a HazCom program?
- When is a HazCom program required?
- Who in the workplace must have HazCom training?
- What is the HazCom standard?
- What are safety data sheets?