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HazCom is the action of passing along important and accurate information about toxic chemicals and hazardous substances. Those manufacturing and distributing hazardous chemicals must pass along safety information and in turn, employers are required to have labels and documents communicating that information to workers.

Hazard communication has been standardized by a number of different organizations and institutions over the years. Today, the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals is the internationally agreed-upon HazCom standard, and facilities have the option to adopt supplementary standards.

  • GHS: As the leading international system for hazard communication, GHS provides a comprehensive framework for the classification of chemical hazards, standardizing chemical labels and Safety Data Sheets. GHS has been adopted by institutions and government agencies worldwide; OSHA's Hazard Communication Standard has been aligned with GHS since 2012.
  • HMIS: The Hazardous Materials Identification System is a voluntary system developed by the American Coatings Association. HMIS-compliant labels feature color bars or color diamonds to communicate what types of hazards are present, e.g. blue represents health hazards, red indicates flammability, and so on.
  • NFPA 704: NFPA 704 is a system for labeling hazardous materials developed specifically for emergency responders. NFPA hazard diamonds are similar to HMIS labels, featuring four different colors representing four different types of hazards and like HMIS, NFPA 704 is a voluntary system meant to aid compliance.

Effective hazard communication allows employers to design adequate safety and health programs, ensuring the right employee protections are in place, and provides the necessary hazard information to workers. Creative Safety Supply is dedicated to helping organizations create a safe workplace and we've gathered blogs, articles, infographics, and other resources for everything you need to know about HazCom.

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Hazcom Articles

OSHA's Guidelines to Protecting Employees from Coronavirus

OSHA's Guidelines to Protecting Employees from Coronavirus

Learn which OSHA standards apply to preventing exposure to illness in the workplace, how to determine level of risk, and which controls to implement to protect your workers.

Safety Data Sheets (SDS)

Safety Data Sheets (SDS)

Safety Data Sheets contain crucial information about the classifications and associated hazards of a chemical. They follow a standardized 16-section format and are required for any facility that handles, stores, or transports chemicals.

Title 49: Shipping Hazardous Materials

Title 49: Shipping Hazardous Materials

CFR 49 notes the procedure for transporting hazardous materials safely in compliance with the HMR. Learn more about this important regulation.

What is HAZCOM? (Hazard Communication Definition + OSHA Standards)

What is HAZCOM? (Hazard Communication Definition + OSHA Standards)

Hazcom is designed to help employees to quickly identify hazardous chemicals. Learn more beneficial information about Hazcom.

A Guide to Pipe Marking Standards

A Guide to Pipe Marking Standards

For most industries, abiding by ASME/ANSI pipe marking standards is sufficient for staying safe and OSHA compliant. Some workplaces, though, are required to comply to more unique pipe marking standards due to the nature of the substance the pipes contain.

What is a thermal printer? (direct transfer)

What is a thermal printer? (direct transfer)

Thermal printers are essential to printing in an industrial setting. Learn about the two types of thermal printing to determine which one suits your facility’s needs.

SVEP – Severe Violator Enhancement Program

SVEP – Severe Violator Enhancement Program

OSHA’s Severe Violator Enhancement Program (SVEP) was created to help ensure companies actually improve safety practices instead of just paying fines for violations. Learn how to avoid getting this designation by improving your workplace safety protocols and become a safe, efficient facility.

OSHA Accident Reports

OSHA Accident Reports

All companies want to avoid accidents, but an unfortunate reality is that work-related injuries happen. How a company reacts to the incident is crucial.

Hazard Pictograms (GHS Symbols)

Hazard Pictograms (GHS Symbols)

More than crude drawings, these nine illustrations protect millions of people throughout a variety of industries each and every day.

HAZWOPER [OSHA Hazardous Waste Standard]

HAZWOPER [OSHA Hazardous Waste Standard]

Crucial training for anyone who works with or near hazardous waste, the HAZWOPER standard seeks to keep workers safe and prevent environmental catastrophe.

Creating a Visual Workplace

Creating a Visual Workplace

Creating a visual workplace can help improve efficiency and reduce workplace injuries. Check out these tips for creating a visual workplace.

Warehouse Management

Warehouse Management

Proper warehouse management can dramatically improve both efficiency and safety. This article covers everything you need to know.

Hazardous Waste Disposal

Hazardous Waste Disposal

Implementing proper hazardous waste disposal tools within the workplace is essential for keeping employees safe. Do you have these hazardous waste tools?

Understanding the NFPA 704 Diamond Labeling System

Understanding the NFPA 704 Diamond Labeling System

Learn how to properly label hazardous materials following NFPA 704 labeling standards.

GHS Label Information

GHS Label Information

A closer look at OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard—1900.1200—and how it applies to your facility.

The Definitive Guide to Globally Harmonized System (GHS) Labeling

The Definitive Guide to Globally Harmonized System (GHS) Labeling

Implementing GHS has been an evolving process for many companies. Here's what you need to know.

Process Safety Management

Process Safety Management

PSM is an OSHA standard developed for companies that handle hazardous chemicals.

GHS Label Creation

GHS Label Creation

Find out how to make Globally Harmonized System (GHS) labels in 3 steps.


Hazcom Questions and Answers

What does WHMIS stand for?

WHMIS is an acronym that stands for, “Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System.” It is there to provide important information on things that could impact safety and health of employees in the workplace. This system is the national workplace hazard communication standard for Canada. While it is primarily used in Canada, companies that provide goods and… 

What is HMIS?

HMIS is an acronym that stands for Hazardous Materials Identification System. It is a hazard rating system that uses numbers as well as colors to make it easy for people to understand what type of dangers there is with chemicals. This system was developed by the American Coatings Association. They originally developed it to help… 

What is a pictogram?

Pictograms are used in many different situations, including workplace safety. They are generally described as a simple visual representations of data; some people also call them icons or pictorial unit charts. In many cases safety pictograms are black and white, though they can be colored as well. These are very popular because they can convey… 

What does IMDS stand for?

IMDS stands for International Material Data System. It is a repository of data that is used to share information on all the different materials that are commonly used in the automotive industry. This data repository was first introduced in June of 2000 and was developed by several top auto manufacturers including Audi, BMW, Daimler, EDS,… 

What is the purpose of MSDS?

An MSDS, or Material Safety Data Sheet, is a document that provides information about a specific chemical or substance. These documents are required to be stored in any facility where the chemical is used. The purpose of MSDS is to provide specific information related to the chemical so that those who need to know about… 

What is HazMat?

 “Hazmat” is an abbreviation for hazardous materials. These materials are regulated by several different government agencies, which each have their own definition for what counts as a hazardous material: OSHA The Occupational Safety and Health Administration defines a hazardous material as any substance that presents a physical or health hazard. These substances include corrosive chemicals, combustible… 

What does MSDS stand for?

MSDS stands for Material Safety Data Sheet. An MSDS is a document that contains information related to a potentially hazardous material that is found in a given workplace. MSDS is sometimes referred to simply as SDS (Safety Data Sheet) or PSDS (Product Safety Data Sheet). No matter what acronym is used, these documents are important… 

How often is HazCom training required?

The HazCom program is a great way to improve workplace safety when there are dangerous chemicals being used. The system was originally developed to help ensure employees were given all the information they need about the dangers associated with working with or near chemicals, it has really evolved into more than that. Still, at its… 

What are different types of hazard communication?

When preparing to implement a HazCom system in a facility, it is important to learn about the different options. There are multiple different types of HazCom labels and other tools that need to be used in order to maximize safety in the facility. Providing employees with the necessary training on all aspects of a hazardous… 

What are safety data sheets?

Safety data sheets (SDS) are informational documents that companies keep on hand for each potentially hazardous chemical in a facility. The information contained within a safety data sheet is standardized so that those reading it will be able to get accurate information about the chemical in question. SDS’s were made to comply with OSHA rules… 

Why is HazCom important?

Over the past several generations, society has grown to understand the importance of workplace safety. During this time, most workplaces have also recognized that a safe work environment is also going to be a more profitable one. Whether by choice, or through regulations, companies have taken dramatic steps to help improve the overall safety of… 

Who in the workplace must have HazCom training?

The HazCom standard was developed by OSHA to help provide employees with the information they need to know when it comes to chemical safety in the workplace. Employers who have positions where employees work with or around chemicals are required to provide them with information about the physical hazards of the chemicals as well as… 

Who regulates HazCom?

HazCom was developed based on OSHA’s ‘Right to Know’ program, which guarantees workers have the right to know about any potentially dangerous chemicals that they are working with. OSHA continues to develop and enforce this set of safety standards for all companies in the United States. It is also important to note that OSHA makes… 

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… 

When is a HazCom program required?

Any company that operates in the United States and has any type of dangerous chemicals in use will need to have a HazCom program implemented. This is required by OSHA, which is the agency that came up with the HazCom program in the first place. It was intended to make it mandatory for companies to… 

What is a HazCom program?

A HazCom program is implemented in a workplace to make sure that employees know what chemicals are used, and what dangers they present. The system is mandated by OSHA, which insists that companies must tell employees of these types of risks. With the goal of keeping employees informed about the risks they face at work,… 

What does the HazCom standard cover?

The HazCom (Hazardous Communication) standard from OSHA covers a number of important things related to dangerous chemicals in the workplace. It was developed to help ensure employees have the right to know about the dangers related to chemicals that they are likely to work with. In order to accomplish that goal, the standard has grown… 

What does a HazCom label include?

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… 

What is the HazCom standard?

HazCom is short for Hazardous Communication Standard and is a set of standards that are used to ensure that employees are aware of the dangers associated with chemicals being used in a facility. It was originally developed by OSHA as a way to make sure that employers weren’t hiding the types of dangers that are… 

How many HazCom pictograms are there?

HazCom pictograms are an easy way to convey information in the workplace when there are potentially hazardous chemicals present. These pictograms are very simple images that convey the type of hazard that a chemical possesses. There are a number of different pictograms that have been established and are used in various workplaces. Many people who… 

What are HazCom labels?

Hazardous chemicals are a part of many workplaces. Making sure that employees understand the dangers associated with each type of chemical is an important part of an overall workplace safety program. To help to ensure everyone understands what chemicals are present, what hazards are associated with them, and other important information, OSHA has come up… 

What Does HMIS Stand For?

HMIS stands for Hazardous Materials Identification System. It was created by the American Coatings Association (ACA) to help companies comply with OSHA’s chemical/hazardous materials labeling standards in the workplace. The HMIS standard provides an easy to read format that quickly imparts information, which is why it is so useful in areas where workers are exposed to… 

What is HAZCOM training and how often is it required?

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… 

 
HazCom Guide
 

Hazcom Infographics

Top 10 OSHA Violations in 2019

Top 10 OSHA Violations in 2019

Most common OSHA violations of 2019 This infographic includes the top ten safety violations OSHA observed during inspections in 2019. Many… 

Top 10 OSHA Violations in 2018

Top 10 OSHA Violations in 2018

Most common OSHA violations in 2018 This illustrated list covers the most frequently cited OSHA standards compiled from the thousands of… 

Stop Buying Labels from a Catalog

Stop Buying Labels from a Catalog

Six reasons you should stop buying labels from a catalog and start printing your own labels with an industrial label… 

OSHA Top 10 Violations of 2015

OSHA Top 10 Violations of 2015

Top 10 OSHA Violations of 2015* Fall Protection (1926.501) - 6,721 Violations Hazard Communication (1910.1200) - 5,192 Violations Scaffolding (1926.451) - 4,295 Violations … 

The Importance of Industrial Label Printers

The Importance of Industrial Label Printers

The Importance of Industrial Label Printers in the Workplace Safety 2.8 million workplace injuries occur every year in the US alone.This equates… 

Pipe Marking 101: Why is Pipe Marking Important?

Pipe Marking 101: Why is Pipe Marking Important?

Pipe Marking 101 - Why is pipe marking important? Safety - Eliminate accidents by minimizing identification errors. Efficiency - No wasted time… 

GHS Timeline: What's Next?

GHS Timeline: What's Next?

GHS: What's Next? The timeline of GHS Compliance The GHS Mission: To internationally standardize classification and labeling of chemicals with pictograms, signal… 

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Hazcom Podcasts

Safety programs work best by consulting workers. EHS expert Lori Siegelman of W&M Environmental tells how to involve employees to… 

HazCom labels and SDSs are confusing - until now. Two OSHA industrial hygienists explain what is happening right now with… 

HazCom labeling changes are here. OSHA’s new standards finally match GHS labeling. Expert Chuck Paulausky, CHMM, explains hazard communication labeling. Chuck… 

Portable containers for hazardous chemicals in the workplace can have NO labeling in only two situations, according to OSHA's HazCom… 

Safety data sheet compliance is hard when suppliers don’t update. Hear OSHA experts answer five important questions on SDSs required… 

Hazcom label rules are confusing. Get chemical labeling answers direct from OSHA on their Hazard Communication Standard, HCS, implemented June… 

Safety Data Sheets must be kept current. Every company with employees exposed to hazardous chemicals is required to keep an… 

Flammable liquids safety can change quickly when workplace temperatures rise. Listen for four ways to avoid flashpoint fires and explosions. Find… 

Chemicals that cause hearing loss are called OTOTOXIC substances. Hear how to protect workers from these common industrial chemicals. Loud sounds… 

The deadline for OSHA’s new HazCom labeling standards, based on GHS, is June 1st, 2015. Are you compliant? OSHA has new… 

Cleaning chemicals can be as dangerous as other workplace chemicals. Be aware of potential health hazards, even with “green” products… 

Ammonia hazards are more common than you think. Many companies use this dangerous substance for refrigeration, and workers need to… 

NFPA labels help workers identify hazardous materials. In this podcast, employees can learn how to read the NFPA label, the… 

Workplace hazards are sometimes hidden in plain sight. Workers and managers need to be aware of 10 dangerous hotspots in… 

Chemical safety in the workplace requires solid cooperation between management and employees. Workers must wear the proper PPE, which will vary… 

Hazard labels give critical information. Labels are the glue that hold the whole safety system together. From manufacturing to office settings,… 

Will universal safety standards cause more problems than they solve? Implementing rules across cultures and languages will have benefits, but… 

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Hazcom Guides

 

Hazcom Products

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