OSHA Hazard Communication Standard Enforcement
Adele L. Abrams, Esq., CMSP and our friends at the Pallet Central Magazine brought the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s revised Hazard Communication Standard to our attention. Many companies are losing thousands of dollars due to fines by not adhering to the standards set by OSHA.
What should a business do to adhere to OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard requirements?
Provide HazCom training in the worker’s native tongue. The labels on chemicals can be in English, but the Hazard Communication training must be given in the worker’s native language.
Keep a chemical inventory list and update it every time a new chemical is brought to the facility.
Have a written hazard communication program readily available to workers.
Allow immediate access to Safety Data Sheets for every brand/color/type of chemical that may be found in the facility, including household cleaners.
What happens if a business doesn’t comply with the HazCom Standard requirements?
If your business doesn’t comply with the Hazard Communication Standard requirements, you will be fined. A company’s non-conformance might cost the business up to $70,000 in fines per employee, so take the time now to make sure you’re meeting every HazCom Standard requirement.
You must have all the proper documentation listed in the section above. Failure to do so can result in a fine for your company. Training your employees is crucial, because if they can’t answer questions about the chemicals they use, your company is at risk for fines.
How soon should I inspect my company to be sure we’re following the rules laid out in the HazCom Standard?
You want to look at your company as soon as possible. OSHA is currently inspecting numerous woodworking facilities nation-wide. If you want to stay fine-free, look at your company’s training, make sure all your paperwork is up-to-date, and regularly check your Chemical Inventory List.
Contact WMPA’s Philip Bibeau at 978-874-5445 with questions or for more information.