HAZCOM training, also known as the OSHA Hazard Communication Standard, is designed to protect employees from hazardous chemicals in the workplace. According to OSHA, “effective training is vital to understanding the information provided on chemical container labels and material safety data sheets and applying that information in the workplace to protect against chemical hazards.” Companies that have hazardous chemicals present in the workplace need to provide HAZCOM training to employees to ensure safety in the workplace.
To comply with OHSA requirements for HAZCOM training, employers must provide employees with information regarding protective measures available in the workplace. Specifically, employees must be given effective information and training on hazardous chemicals in their work area at the time of their initial assignment. It is required that employees are given new information and new training any time a new hazard is introduced. Second, employees must be informed of the location and availability of the written hazard communication program. This includes the required list of hazardous chemicals and material safety data sheets.
According to OSHA guidelines, the employee training must include methods and observations used to detect a hazardous chemical; the physical and health hazards of the chemicals; the measures employees can take to protect themselves from these hazards; and the details of the hazard communication program developed by the employer, including an explanation of labels and material safety data sheets, and how employees can obtain and use the appropriate hazard information.
HAZCOM training provides employees with the “right-to-know” the hazards and identities of the chemicals they are exposed to in the workplace. The OSHA standard helps employers design and implement an effective protective program for employees that could be exposed to dangerous chemicals. The OSHA requirements are designed to decrease the number of chemical source illnesses and injuries in workplaces across the United States.