The impacts of being exposed to chemical substances and hazardous materials may range from simple to just skin irritation to long-term and serious illnesses like cancer. This is something that a business should prevent especially when there are many employees have access to substances and materials. 

If work involves hazardous materials and chemical substances to comply with OSHA’s workplace safety rules, then employees should not only just follow the safety precautions but maintain the records and communicate the information to the staff and organizations, like community emergencies. 

Training like the online OSHA training will help every employee become more aware of the potential dangers in the workplace. It’s also very important to develop a safety culture so that all employees would be responsible for handling hazardous materials. 

With that in mind, this blog will give you tips for complying with OSHA’s Hazardous Materials regulations.

Learning About Hazard Communication Standards and Record-Keeping 

The Hazard Communication Standard uses the UN’s Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals. The system puts chemicals into physical and health hazards categories. And like the online OSHA training, this will help employees immediately understand the dangers of chemicals. 

There are also the Material Safety Data Sheets that also play an important role in OSHA’s hazardous material record keeping and communication requirements. These are distributed and created as part of the comprehensive hazard communication program. 

Proper Training of Employees 

Employers and management should ensure that employees are trained enough about chemical hazards that could be in their work areas before the employees begin to work and whenever there’s a new hazard. 

They should also train employees in a language they are comfortable with and understand. The training, whether it’s a classroom or online OSHA training, should highlight topics about spotting hazardous chemicals, protections in place, which should be contacted if problems arise, and getting access to the sheets. 

Proper Storage of Hazardous Substances and Materials

Keeping and proper storage of hazardous materials are important. The chemicals should be kept in cool, dry, ventilated areas, and the incompatible materials must be separated. 

Lids should be kept closed, which means they should be vapor-tight and leak-proof on hazmat containers. Make sure that the storage areas are free from items that could cause falls, trips, or spills. They should also be free from materials that could invite rodents or pests. 

Of course, you should always keep the work areas clean, not only clutter but should have a clean work surface to prevent exposure or contamination risk. 

Access to SDSs

Employees should be able to access SDS immediately for every hazardous chemical that is present in the workplace. The employees must be trained on where or how to access SDSs, and even how to interpret the contained information. 

If you use an electronic Safety Data Sheet management system, ensure that it’s reliable and comes with a backup system in place for other occasions and emergencies where the electronic system can’t function well.  

Handling Unlabeled and Unidentified Substances 

Finding a container without the right labeling can’t be used or transported. Immediately report to the Environmental Protection Agency, and they will be the ones to analyze and identify the substances. 

Using Materials for Intended Purposes 

Hazardous materials usually have certain purposes, even if an employee could try to use the substance for different purposes. While doing it may have a sense logically, it may lead to problems that may arise. 

Also, there could be other individuals that may come in contact with dangerous material because they never expect it to be on the surface. There’s also some danger of the substance or the fumes becoming airborne. Worse is that it could possibly interact in dangerous and unexpected ways with substances in the area. 

Using the right PPE 

PPE actually refers to protective gear worn to avoid exposure to hazardous materials. The PPE type that you need actually depends on the setting. Examples are face masks, rubber gloves, steel-toed boots, eye protection, full-body suits, and hard hats. 

Other than these, you may also need a respirator when you work around hazardous materials that may become airborne. Also, hazard assessment in a workplace will also define the dangers that using PPE is important. Once the assessment is done, the employers would be the ones responsible for maintaining and providing the needed training and PPE that employees need. 

Wrapping Up

Regulating materials of OSHA is designed to ensure a safe environment for workers. Following the regulations mentioned in this blog is very important for the company that makes use of or produces hazardous materials. In fact, this is the key responsibility of any employer. 

When employees understand the regulations, utilize proper resources, proper employee training, and everything mentioned above, you can always ensure that you comply with OSHA’s Hazardous Materials Regulations and come up with a secure and safe work environment.

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