Who does HazCom apply to?

HazCom will generally apply to any company that uses, stores, or transports any type of potentially dangerous chemical. This includes companies in general industry, marine locations, longshore businesses, construction, medical facilities, shipyards, warehousing, shipping, and many others. Since HazCom was created, maintained and enforced, by OSHA, the program will really only apply to companies operating within the United States.

That being said, however, many businesses that are not located in the US will still follow HazCom standards. This is often because these companies do a lot of business with American companies, so it is easier to follow one proven safety standard. This is especially true when a chemical is shipped from locations within the US to those in another country, or vice versa. Even companies that don’t directly work with American businesses, however, may also want to follow these proven safety standards.

Globally Harmonized System (GHS)

HazCom has a lot to do with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals, known as GHS for short. In many ways, HazCom is the US version of GHS, which is used in countries around the world. By making these two programs compatible it was easy to minimize conflicts and confusion for international companies.

Who Needs to Get HazCom Training?

On a more individual level, HazCom will apply to any person who is working with or around dangerous chemicals. This can include industry workers, truck drivers, maintenance professionals, and many others. They will need to be given the necessary training to be able to recognize the various pictograms and other labeling standards. Beyond that, they will need to be able to respond to an accident or other event related to the chemicals used by the company.

The safety standards are intended to provide employees with protections against a negligent company. With this in mind, it makes sense that if an employee doesn’t have a sufficient understanding of HazCom, it will typically be the employer who is given a fine or other penalty. The HazCom system is a proven way to improve workplace safety when it comes to dangerous chemicals. Ensuring that everyone works together on this goal will help to minimize the risk of people getting hurt.

 

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Additional Resources

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OSHA Safety Signs Guide
 
GHS Label Samples
 
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