If you work with or around hazardous chemicals in California, you need a Hazard Communication (HazCom) Program. Each workplace is different and has unique hazards. You, as an employer, must develop a program that fits the specific needs of your workplace. Although Cal/OSHA gives you some leeway to develop a program that is unique to your workplace, they still require certain steps and procedures. In the program you will need:
- A list of the hazardous chemicals that employees may be exposed to
- An explanation of how you will label hazardous chemical containers
- An explanation of how you will use Safety Data Sheets (SDS)
- Employee training on hazardous chemicals
- An explanation of how you will handle trade secrets
- A plan for how to address multi-employer or dual-employer workplace issues.
Hazard communication is vital for the safety of your employees. In the US, there are 190,000 illnesses and 50,000 worker deaths every year due to chemical exposure. A well-crafted Haz/Com Program will protect your employees from getting sick. Don’t let your employees become one of these statistics. A good program will also save you money. Protecting your employees will help you avoid costly medical bills and harsh government fines. You can also avoid the opportunity cost of training new employees and changing workplace practices. Implementing a Haz/Com Program will also show that you care for your employees, allowing higher retention rates among workers. Implementing an effective Hazard Communication Program is the smart thing to do.
For more information on Haz/Com Programs check out our Cal OSHA HAZCOM Training! Our in-depth, online training will take you through each step of the Hazard Communication process in only 2 hours.
Good luck and stay safe!