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OSHA’s Top 10: Chemicals - What you don’t know can hurt you

OSHA’s Top 10: Chemicals - What you don’t know can hurt you

The Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) describes the responsibilities of chemical suppliers, employers and workers with regard to chemical safety.  The HCS has been around for many years, but a revised version came into force in 2012 to harmonize with Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS).  GHS is now the basis of hazard communication legislation in many countries.  This consistency ensures that chemicals are classified the same way in different countries, and that the same hazard information is communicated to workers everywhere.  As well as protecting workers more effectively than before, this harmonization makes selling chemical products in different countries much simpler since chemical suppliers don’t have to classify and describe their products in different ways for different markets.

In a nutshell, the HCS gives chemical suppliers, employers and workers the following legal responsibilities:

  • Chemical suppliers must label all containers of hazardous chemicals with labels that use HCS pictograms and standardized text to summarize the hazards of the chemicals.  The supplier also must provide a Safety Data Sheet (SDS) with each chemical.  SDSs provide more detailed information about the chemicals, such as: handling and storage, personal protection, accidental release measures, first aid, etc.
  • The employer is responsible for ensuring that there is a supplier- or workplace label on each chemical container, and that a current SDS for each chemical is available to workers.  The employer must provide training on the HCS so that all workers understand what the information on the label and in the SDS means, where to find them and how to use the information.
  • Workers must take the training that is provided and use the knowledge they gain from it to work safely with the chemicals in their workplace.

Did you know that violations of the Hazard Communication Standard are Number Two on OSHA’s Top 10 list of compliance violations?  If OSHA inspected your workplace tomorrow, would you be able to demonstrate that your workers know about labels, pictograms, hazard classes and Safety Data Sheets? Could you prove that they have received training?  We can help!

When your workers have taken Vubiz’ “Hazard Communication” course, they will be able to:

  • Define the responsibilities of the suppliers, employers, and workers under the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS).
  • Recognize the HCS pictograms and the associated hazard(s).
  • List the information required on the supplier and workplace labels and on Safety Data Sheets.
  • Outline the procedures for dealing with safe use, storage, transfer, and spills of hazardous materials.

When you purchase access to this and other Vubiz courses, your workers’ learning is automatically recorded in a Learning Management System (LMS), so you can see who has successfully completed the training and when.  Your training records are generated automatically! Courses are also available to be put on your LMS if you have one.


Did you know that OSHA’s Safe and Sound Week is August 12-18, 2019?  OSHA sets this week aside every year for companies to celebrate their safety and health successes. Providing safety training is a great way for your company to participate, and we can help.  If you purchase Hazard Communication for your workers by August 18, we’ll give you 20% off the regular price if you use the coupon code Safe+Sound2019.

Contact Vubiz for additional information.

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