The purpose of the federal Hazard Communication Standard (HazCom), or worker "right-to-know," is to ensure that employers and employees can identify and understand hazardous chemical substances in their workplace, the physical and health hazards associated with them, and how to take protective action. HazCom is part of an overall workplace safety and health program.
HazCom is strongly rooted in the premise that:
• Employees have the right to know about any physical and/or health hazards associated with the various hazardous substances in their work areas.
• Employees must be aware of and taught how to use the protective measures that are available to them in the workplace. HazCom is a performance-based standard, which means that it is particular about the objectives employers must achieve, but flexible about the specific methods that are used to achieve them.
The six core elements of OSHA’s HazCom requirements are:
• The hazard determination
• The written hazard communication program
• The safety data sheet (SDS)
• Chemical labeling
• Employee information and training
• Protections for chemical trade secrets
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) HazCom rule. EPA applies its own version of worker right-to know that is similar to OSHA's HazCom rule, called the Significant New Use Rule (SNUR). It includes several additional requirements for significant new uses of chemicals and new chemical substances. Precautionary statements must be added to SDSs and container labels for new uses of chemicals.
Pesticide worker protection. EPA’s worker protection standard includes provisions for notifying employees at agricultural establishments and other workplaces where workers are exposed to pesticides of the ...