The Hazard Communication Standard (HCS or HazCom) is again found near the top of OSHA’s Most Frequently Cited Standards list, ranking third for the 2009 fiscal year (Oct. 1, 2008 - Sept. 30, 2009), with more than 6,700 violations being reported. Of that, according to the NSC December 2009 magazine article titled, “OSHA’s Top 10 Most Cited Violations 2009,” more than 3,900 were categorized as serious, which is defined by OSHA to mean there was a “substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result.”
HCS as many of you know is the standard set forth to protect employees from hazardous chemicals found in the workplace. The regulation consists of four main parts: Written HazCom Plan, Labels and Warnings, Employee Training and MSDS Documents. If you’re familiar with HCS, you’re also probably aware of OSHA’s recent proposal to align the standard with the United Nations' Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS). It will be interesting to see how the proposed changes for this standard might impact the regulation’s placement on the list in coming years.