How To Use HazCom To Manage Chemical Hazard

Hazcom

What Is HazCom

HazCom is an acronym which means – Hazard Communication. It is a set of processes and procedures that employers and importers must implement in the workplace to effectively communicate hazards associated with chemicals exposure.

Hazard communication is covered by the HazCom standard (See standard). This standard stipulates that manufactures of chemicals and employers using these chemicals must ensure that the hazards posed by the chemicals are properly controlled. This is done by:

  • Ensuring that the chemicals are properly labeled.
  • Make the safety data sheet of the chemical available for workers exposed to it.
  • Train workers on the safe use of these chemicals.

Amongst the point highlighted above, two (2) is very applicable to the manufacturer of the chemical – Labeling the chemical and providing the SDS (Safety data sheet), while the employer needs to do all the above.

OSHA stipulates that, “All employers with hazardous chemicals in their workplaces must prepare and implement a written hazard communication program, and must ensure that all containers are labeled, employees are provided access to MSDSs, and an effective training program is conducted for all potentially exposed employees.”

Employees have the right-to-know the hazards and identities of the chemicals they are exposed to in the workplace, and how they can protect themselves from these hazards.

How to use HazCom to manage chemical hazards

HazCom is the best tool for managing chemical hazards in the workplace. This is possible by initiating the HazCom program.

Initiating the Hazard communication program is the first step to a successful implementation of the HazCom program. Other things to do are as stated earlier:

  • Ensuring that the chemicals are properly labeled.
  • Make the safety data sheet of the chemical available for workers exposed to it
  • Train workers on the safe use of these chemicals.

In conclusion, to use HazCom to manage chemical hazards effectively, you must do the following:

  1. Initiate the HazCom program
  2. Label your chemicals
  3. Make the safety data sheet (SDS or MSDS) available to employees.
  4. Train the employees on the safe use of chemicals

Related documents

Report of the Hazard Communication Workgroup to the National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health (NACOSH)

 

Further Reading

15 Important Hot Work Safety Precautions

Author: Ubongeh