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MODULE 11

Hazard Communication

Purpose of OSHAs Hazard


Communication Standard
ensure that employers and employees
know about work hazards and how to
protect themselves so that the incidence
of illnesses and injuries due to hazardous
chemicals is reduced.
Hazard
Communication
Program

Container
Labeling

Material Safety
Data Sheet
MSDS

Program

Label

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Why should chemical hazards


be communicated?
Exposure Risk: About 32 million workers
potentially exposed to chemical hazards
Profusion of Chemicals: About 650,000
chemical products exist; hundreds of new
ones introduced annually
Health Effects: May include heart ailments,
central nervous system damage, kidney and
lung damage, sterility, cancer, burns, and
rashes
Safety Hazards: Potential to cause fires,
explosions, or other serious accidents
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Concept of regulation:
Employees have both a need and a
right to know the hazards and identities
of the chemicals they are exposed to
when working.
They also need to know what protective
measures are available to prevent
adverse effects from occurring.
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Who is covered?
General industry, shipyard, marine
terminals, longshoring, and construction
employers
Chemical manufacturers, importers,
employers, and employees exposed to
chemical hazards

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Employer Responsibilities
A significant portion of the standard
pertains only to chemical manufactures,
importers, and distributors
Employers who do not produce
chemicals only have to focus on
establishing a workplace program and
communicating information to their
workers.

Appendix E provides guidelines


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Employer Responsibilities
Inventory: Identify and list hazardous chemicals in
workplaces
MSDS & Labeling: Obtain Material Safety Data
Sheets and labels for each hazardous chemical, if not
provided by the manufacturer, importer, or distributor
Written Program: Implement a written HazCom
program, including labels, MSDS, and employee
training
Communication & Training: Communicate hazard
information to employees through labels, MSDSs,
and formal training programs
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Labeling Exemptions
Other federal agencies control labeling
requirements for the following substances:
Pesticides
Chemicals covered under the Toxic Substance
Control Act
Foods or food additives
Distilled spirits, tobacco
Consumer products, lumber, cosmetics
Hazardous wastes
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How can workplace hazards be


minimized?
Hazard Assessment: The first step in
minimizing workplace hazards is to
perform a thorough hazard assessment
Manufacturer Evaluations: Employers
can rely on the manufacturers or
importers evaluations of the hazards of
the chemicals they use (from MSDS)
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Why is a written program


required?
Employer: Program ensures that all
employers receive the information they
need to inform and train their
employees
Employee: Program provides
necessary hazard information to
employees
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Employer RequirementsWritten Program


Must cover at least:
Labels and other forms of warnings
Material Safety Data Sheets
Employee Information and Training
List of chemicals present and MSDS for
each
Methods used to inform employees of
hazards of non-routine tasks
Hazards of chemicals in unlabeled pipes

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Multi-Employer Workplaces
When other employers have employees
onsite that may be exposed, program
must include:
Methods to provide contractor employees
with on-site access to MSDS
Methods used to inform other employers of
precautionary measures for normal and
emergency situations
The employers chemical labeling system
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Consumer Products Exemption


Any consumer product as defined in the
Consumer Product Safety Act where:
Used in the workplace for the purpose
intended
Exposure within the range that could
reasonably be experienced by consumers
when used for intended purpose

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Written Program Availability


Written program available on request:
To employees and their representatives
Program may be kept at main location

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How must chemicals be


labeled?
Containers of hazardous chemicals
entering workplace must be labeled with
Identity of chemical
Appropriate hazard warnings
Message, picture or symbol
Hazards of chemical
Target organs affected
Legible in English, may have other languages

Name and address of responsible party


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Container Labeling Exemptions


No new labels necessary if existing labels
convey required information
Labeling not required for portable containers if:
Transferred from labeled containers and
Intended for immediate use by employee
performing transfer

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Material Safety Data Sheets


Prepared by chemical manufacturer or
importer, describing
Physical hazards, such as fire and
explosion
Health hazards, such as signs of exposure
Routes of exposure
Precautions for safe handling and use
Emergency and first-aid procedures
Control measures
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Material Safety Data Sheets


Must be in English and include specific
chemical identity and common names
Must provide information about:
Physical and chemical characteristics
Health effects
Exposure limits
Carcinogenicity (cancer-causing)
Identification (name, address, and telephone
number) of the organization responsible for
preparing the sheet
Must be readily accessible to employees in their
work area

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Material Safety Data Sheets


No prescribed format
If no MSDS received for a chemical:
Contact supplier, manufacturer or importer
Maintain record of the contact

May be kept in any form including


operating procedures
Addressing hazards of process may
make more sense than individual
chemicals
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Employee Information and


Training
Employees must be provided
information and training on hazardous
chemicals in their work area:
At the time of their initial assignment
Whenever a new physical or health hazard
is introduced into their work area
May cover categories of hazards or
individual chemicals
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Employee Information
Employers must inform employees of:
Training requirements of this section
Operations in their work area where
hazardous chemicals are present;
Location and availability of the written
hazard communication program

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What must employee training


contain?
Program: Explanation of the HazCom
program, including information on labels,
MSDSs, and how to obtain and use available
hazard information
Physical and health hazards of chemicals
Protection: Protective measures such as
engineering controls, work practices, and the
use of PPE
Detection: How to detect the presence or
release of a hazardous chemical (using
monitoring devices, observation, or smell)
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Health Hazard Definitions


Acute: rapid effects, as a result of
short-term exposures, of short duration
Chronic: effects as a result of longterm exposure, of long duration
Corrosive: Visible destruction or
irreversible damage to body tissue,
including acids and caustics (bases)
Definitions in 1910.1200 Appendix A
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Target Organ Effects


Hepatotoxins: liver damage
Nephrotoxins: kidney damage
Neurotoxins: nervous system effects
Agents which act on the blood or
hematopoietic system: deprive body
tissues of oxygen
Agents which damage the lungs

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Target Organ Effects


Reproductive toxins, including
teratogens (damage fetuses) and
mutagens (damage DNA)
Cutaneous hazards: skin damage
Eye hazards

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Setting up a program
The Hazard Communication Standard
covers both:
Physical hazards (such as flammability),
and
Health hazards (such as irritation, lung
damage, and cancer)

Most chemicals used in the workplace


have some hazard potential, and thus
will be covered by the rule
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Setting up a program
This rule is more performance-oriented
than many other OSHA regulations.
You have flexibility to adapt the rule to
the needs of your workplace, rather
than having to follow specific, rigid
requirements

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Setting up a program
Make a list of all chemicals in the workplace
that are potentially hazardous
Survey the workplace to make a
comprehensive list
Identify chemicals in containers, including
pipes

Establish purchasing procedures so that


MSDSs are received before a material is
used in the workplace
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Identify hazardous chemicals in


the workplace
Compile a complete list of the potentially
hazardous chemicals in the workplace
Determine if you have received material
safety data sheets for all of them
If any are missing, contact your supplier and
request one
Do not allow employees to use any chemicals
for which you have not received an MSDS
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Preparing and implementing a


hazard communication program
All workplaces where employees are
exposed to hazardous chemicals must
have a written plan
The plan does not have to be lengthy or
complicated

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Employee Training
You may want to discuss each chemical
individually if there are only a few chemicals
in the workplace
You may want to train generally:
Based on the hazard categories (e.g.,
flammable liquids, corrosive materials,
carcinogens)
Where there are large numbers of chemicals
or
Where the chemicals change frequently
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Training Documentation
The rule does not require employers to
maintain records of employee training,
but many employers choose to do so
This may help you monitor your own
program to ensure that all employees
are appropriately trained

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