OSHA’s Revised Hazard Communication Standard Requires Additional Staff Training

June 1, 2012 | Evaluations & Guidance


A recent revision to the Hazard Communication Standard issued by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will require workplaces, including healthcare facilities, to train staff on changes to its chemical labeling system or face hefty fines. The labeling system classifies chemicals according to their physical and health hazards (e.g., poison, skin irritant, carcinogen), and applies to all potentially hazardous chemicals, including cleaning agents and substances used for local or general anesthesia.

The revisions, which were made to better align the U.S. standard with the United Nations’ Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals, are expected to reduce confusion about chemical hazards in the workplace by providing uniform information on chemical labels and safety data sheets. According to OSHA, the revised standard is expected to prevent an estimated 43 deaths and 585 illnesses and injuries annually. It is also intended to reduce trade barriers and provide cost savings for facilities and...

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