Washington Hazard Communication : What you need to know


Washington’s hazard communication rules mirror federal regulations, except that the state has adopted rules for biological agents, HAZWOPER training and education, container labeling, Material Safety Data Sheet/Safety Data Sheet (MSDS/SDS), and hazardous substance fees that are stricter than federal rules. Certain employers must pay fees annually according to specified standard industrial codes (SICs) that are applicable to facilities that report at least 10,400 worker hours to the Washington Department of Labor and Industries (DLI). Reasonable efforts must be made by an employer to post notices in employees’ native languages. The DLI provides written hazard communication program language translation services to employers. The effective dates of the new hazard communication rule will be delayed and phased in. The effective completion date to train employees on the new label elements and SDS format is 6 months later than the federal requirement.

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See the state section HAZWOPER for more information about HAZWOPER training and education, and the state section MSDS/SDS for more information about MSDS/SDS requirements for spill response programs at permanent pesticide and fertilizer storage and mixing/loading facilities.

The DLI administers and enforces the Hazard Communication Standard.


During the transition period, there is the option to comply with the applicable requirements in the existing rules or the requirements in the new rule or both. Upon completion of the transition period, the existing standards will be repealed.

Table 1—Effective dates

Effective completion date Requirement(s) Who need(s) to comply
June 1, 2014 Train employees on the new label elements and SDS format. Employers
Transition period to the effective completion dates

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Washington Hazard Communication Resources

Hazard Communication Products

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