Chemicals

The Right to Know—Don’t Get it Wrong

The basic goal of an effective hazard communication program is to ensure that both employers and employees know the identities and hazards of chemicals in their workplaces.

One of the reasons for the large number of hazard communication standard (HCS) citations is that many employers mistakenly believe the standard only applies to large companies or those in the chemical industry. The fact is, however, that the vast majority of workplaces contain at least some hazardous chemicals, which means that most employers must meet the requirements of HCS.

How about your hazard communication program? Is it 100 percent in compliance with HCS requirements? Let’s see.


Checklists inform supervisors and employees about workplace hazards like chemicals and help keep everyone safe. A top-notch example is the award-winning Safety Audit Checklists program from BLR®. Try it at no cost and no risk. Get the full story.


HazCom Program Basics

To ensure HCS compliance, you should be able to sign off on all the following basic requirements for HazCom programs:

  • Is your program written and explained to employees?
  • Can employees and their representatives get copies to read if they want to?
  • Does your hazcom program identify the individuals responsible for each aspect of the program?
  • Does your program explain how the standard’s requirements will be met?
  • Does it include a list of hazardous chemicals used or stored in the workplace?
  • Does your hazcom program include effective, documented employee training that fully covers the topic and all the OSHA training requirements?
  • Are employees retrained whenever new chemical hazards are introduced?
  • Does your program account for how contractor’s employees will receive HazCom information while working in your workplace?
  • Are all chemical containers properly labeled, and do labels correctly identify chemicals?
  • Are material safety data sheets (MSDSs) accessible to employees at all times?
  • Are MSDS files kept current and up to date?
  • Do workers understand the information on labels and MSDSs and know how to use it to protect their health and safety?

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Ready-Made Checklists

The Safety Audit Checklists section on hazard communication provides a wealth of information to help you ensure compliance with HSC requirements. Along with background information about HazCom management and training, you also get an 18-point compliance checklist highlighting key provisions of OSHA’s hazard communication standard and a second checklist with important information about hazard communication and chemical safety that can be circulated to supervisors and posted for employees.

All told, this best-selling program provides you with more than 300 separate safety checklists keyed to three main criteria:

  • OSHA compliance checklists, built right from the government standards in such key areas as HazCom, lockout/tagout, electrical safety, and many more.
  • “Plaintiff attorney” checklists, built around those non-OSHA issues that often attract lawsuits.
  • Safety management checklists that monitor the administrative procedures you need to have for topics such as OSHA 300 Log maintenance, training program scheduling and recording, and; OSHA-required employee notifications.

Make as many copies as you need for all your supervisors and managers, and distribute. What’s more, the entire program is updated annually. And the cost averages only about $1 per checklist.

If this method of ensuring a safer, more OSHA-compliant workplace interests you, we’ll be happy to make Safety Audit Checklists available for a no-cost, no-obligation, 30-day evaluation in your office. Just let us know, and we’ll be pleased to arrange it.

Other Recent Articles on Chemical Safety
Hazard Communication: Still a Bulwark of Workplace Safety
MSDS or Guess? What Do Your Workers Do?
The MSDS: A One-Stop Resource for Chemical Safety
The ABC’s of Safe Chemical Transportation
How to Meet OSHA’s HazCom Training Requirements

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