Why are HAZCOM programs important?

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      Mike Wilson

      As part of OSHA standard 29 CFR 1910.1200, employers that have hazardous chemicals in their workplaces are required to implement a hazard communication program. Hazcom programs increase awareness of hazardous chemicals used in the workplace so employees can recognize potential hazards, and understand what measures to take to minimize harm.

      Elements of a HazCom Program

      The three elements of a hazard communication program are three primary ways employers can provide information to workers about chemical hazards:

      • Labels – The use of warning labels and signs on containers holding hazardous chemicals.
      • Safety data sheets – Maintaining detailed information on a particular hazardous chemical, for each hazardous chemical in the workplace.
      • Training & Education – Training employees on chemical hazards present, appropriate protective measures, and how they can obtain additional information.

      Although OSHA’s standard does not require employers to evaluate and reassess hazard communication programs, they still need to remain current and relevant for employees.

      What have you found to be most challenging about keeping a hazcom program up-to-date? Share your experiences below!

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