Here’s a quick checklist California workplaces can use to ensure they are in compliance with Cal/OSHA’s hazard communication rules.
Posting of Notices
- Is the Cal/OSHA poster Safety and Health Protection on the Job displayed in a prominent location where all employees are likely to see it?
- Are emergency telephone numbers posted where they can be readily found in case of emergency?
- Where employees may be exposed to any toxic substances or harmful physical agents, has appropriate information concerning employee access to medical and exposure records and safety data sheets (SDSs) been posted or otherwise made readily available to affected employees?
- Are signs concerning exiting from buildings; room capacities; floor loading; or exposures to X-ray, microwave, or other harmful radiation or substances posted where appropriate?
- Is the summary of occupational injuries and illnesses (Cal/OSHA Form 300A) posted February 1 to April 30?
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Hazardous Chemical Exposures
- Are employees trained in the safe handling practices of hazardous chemicals (acids, caustics, and the like)?
- Are employees aware of the potential hazards involving various chemicals stored or used in the workplace, such as acids, bases, caustics, epoxies, and phenols?
- Are chemical piping systems clearly marked as to their content?
- Where corrosive liquids are frequently handled in oven containers or drawn from storage vessels or pipelines, are adequate means readily available for properly and safely neutralizing or disposing of spills or overflows?
- Have standard operating procedures been established, and are they being followed when cleaning up chemical spills?
- Are employees prohibited from eating in areas in which hazardous chemicals are present?
- Is personal protective equipment provided, used, and maintained whenever necessary?
- Are there written standard operating procedures for the selection and use of respirators where needed?
- If you have a respirator protection program, are your employees instructed on the correct usage and limitations of the respirators?
- Is there a list of hazardous substances used in your workplace?
- Is there a written hazard communication program dealing with SDSs, labeling, and employee training?
- Who is responsible for SDSs, container labeling, and employee training?
- Is each container for a hazardous substance (i.e., vats, bottles, storage tanks) labeled with product identity and a hazard warning (communication of the specific health hazards and physical hazards)?
- Is there an SDS readily available for each hazardous substance used?
- How will you inform other employers whose employees share the same work area in which the hazardous substances are used?
- Is there an employee training program for hazardous substances?
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- Does this program include:
- An explanation of what an SDS is and how to use and obtain one?
- SDS contents for each hazardous substance or class of substances?
- Explanation of worker "right to know"?
- Identification of where employees can see the employer’s written hazard communication program and where hazardous substances are present in their work areas?
- The physical and health hazards of substances in the work area, how to detect their presence, and specific protective measures to be used?
- Details of the hazard communications program, including how to use the labeling system and SDSs?
- How employees will be informed of hazards of nonroutine tasks and hazards of unlabeled pipes?