Monthly Round Up of Important Ideas and Standards in
Industrial Hygiene and Safety
IN THIS ISSUE: OSHA Required Chemical Training
There are many Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) standards where employees must be trained before they handle chemicals and other contaminants that may be hazardous to their health. For general industry, Toxic and Hazardous standards under 1910 Subpart Z, such as those for asbestos, lead, methylene chloride, or hexavalent chromium, have specific requirements. For all hazardous materials not covered, the Hazard Communication Standard 1910.1200 is the catch-all that applies to all applicable chemical hazards. In addition, respiratory protection, 1910.134, process safety management standard 1910.119 for highly hazardous chemicals, 1910.146 permit required confined spaces, and 1910.1450 occupational exposure to hazardous chemicals in laboratories, have training requirements that may be applicable. There are similar standards for construction that may include all or some provisions as those of general industry.
Under the Hazard Communication standard, “employers shall provide employees with effective information and training on hazardous chemicals in their work area at the time of their initial assignment, and whenever a new chemical hazard the employees have not previously been trained about is introduced into their work area. Information and training may be designed to cover categories of hazards (e.g., ammability, carcinogenicity) or specific chemicals. Chemical-specific information must always be available through labels and safety data sheets.“
In addition to OSHA requirements, it is important that employers use OSHA training materials along with institutional, private, and trade group resources, and train the trainer programs. It is most important that training to be effective. Simply providing the safety materials for a worker to read, sitting down at a computer screen, or passing a written test may not be adequate. Workers should physically demonstrate that they can do the job or task safely. (The best way to determine whether a worker is well trained is when he can train a fellow employee.) In addition, employee and trainer performance as well as chemical safety programs should be periodically evaluated.
OSHA sets the minimum requirements for chemical training. It is important that employers provide all training necessary to do the job safely and integrate it into an overall program of engineering controls and workplace practices that ensure the safety of all.
OccuSafe Industrial Hygiene & Safety, Inc. provides skills and expertise to recognize, evaluate and control hazards and injuries in the areas of industrial hygiene, occupational safety and health. OccuSafe services companies of all sizes in a range of industries.
This newsletter is published monthly by OccuSafe Industrial Hygiene & Safety Services, Inc. Feel free to forward it to friends and colleagues or see past newsletters at occusafeinc.com/category/newsletter/