The Hazard Communication Standard

chart showing the scope of 1910.1200
The GHS Process

If you are exposed to hazardous chemicals at work, OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard (29 CFR 1910.1200) will help you identify the hazards of those materials and how to use them safely. Your employer must also teach you about the protective measures when working with hazardous chemicals. When you have this important information, you’ll be able to take steps to protect yourself from the negative effects caused by accidental exposure.

OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) requires employers and manufacturers to develop and distribute chemical information as described below:

  • Chemical manufacturers and importers must classify the hazards of the chemicals they produce or import, and prepare labels and safety data sheets to convey the hazard information to their downstream customers.
  • Employers with classified hazardous chemicals in their workplaces must have labels and safety data sheets for their exposed workers, and train workers to safely handle those chemicals.
  • Employers who do not produce or import chemicals need only focus on those parts of this rule that deal with establishing a workplace program and communicating information to their workers.

As mentioned above, the standard requires your employer to provide information to employees about the hazardous chemicals to which they are exposed, by means of:

  • a hazard communication program* (HCP),
  • labels and other forms of warning,
  • safety data sheets, and
  • information and training.

Note: In this short course we focus on controls, labeling, and safety data sheets. To see more information on the components of a Hazard Communication Program, check out Course 705, Hazard Communication Program (HCP).

Click the following link to see a sample Hazard Communication Program (scroll down to page 30 – Appendix A).