OSHA Publishes New GHS / HazCom Guide for Small Business

OSHA's published a new guide entitled "Hazard Communication: Small Entity Compliance Guide for Employers That Use Hazardous Chemicals" It is a 40 page document that walks the reader through OSHA's recommended steps for HazCom compliance. Additionally, OSHA also recently published an OSHA Fact Sheet entitled Steps to an Effective Hazard Communication Program for Employers That Use Hazardous Chemicals.

Both are available free for download on OSHA's website. The new guide includes sections on labels, safety data sheets, and training. It also includes a sample written Hazard Communication Program and a guide to Training. OSHA says the guide is intended to help small employers comply with the Hazard Communication Standard. The agency also says the guide is advisory in nature and is not in itself a new regulation or standard, nor does it create new obligations.

In both the guide and the fact sheet, OSHA lists the key steps to HazCom as:

  1. Step 1. Learn the Standard/Identify Responsible Staff
  2. Step 2. Prepare and Implement a Written Hazard Communication Program
  3. Step 3. Ensure Containers are Labeled
  4. Step 4. Maintain Safety Data Sheets (SDSs)
  5. Step 5. Inform and Train Employees
  6. Step 6. Evaluate and Reassess Your Program.

The guide is a big leap forward in terms of clarity for understanding the recent changes to HazCom, as well as long standing obligations that may have been overlooked or misunderstood. For instance, Appendix A contains a sample written hazard communication program. Here the recommended sections include:

  1. Company Policy
  2. Container Labeling
    • (Name of Responsible Person/Position)
  3. Safety Data Sheets
    • (Name of Responsible Person/Position)
  4. Employee Information and Training
    • (Name of Responsible Person/Position)
  5. Hazards of Non-Routine Tasks
  6. Informing Other Employers/Contractors
    • (Name of Responsible Person/Position)
  7. List of Hazardous Chemicals
    • (Name of Responsible Person/Position & Phone Number)
  8. Chemicals in Unlabeled Pipes
  9. Program Availability

As you can see, in addition to the required information, the plan should also include the names and contact information for responsible parties.

To learn how MSDSonline can help you get and stay in compliance with GHS / HazCom 2012, visit MSDSonline.com or call us Toll-Free at 1.888.362.2007.