Washington Right to Know/ Hazard Communication laws & HR compliance analysis

Washington Right to Know/ Hazard Communication: What you need to know

Hazard communication standards, or “worker right-to-know” laws, regulate how information about toxic chemicals and hazardous substances in the workplace is communicated to employees. As with most workplace health and safety standards, worker right-to-know laws have developed in large part according to standards adopted under the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act), which covers private sector employees.
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Washington has its own occupational safety and health act, the Washington Industrial Safety and Health Act (WISHA), which has received OSHA approval. Administered by the Washington Department of Labor and Industries, the state law governs both private and public (state and local governments) sector workplaces. Employee worker right-to-know provisions are found in the Worker and Community Right-to-Know Act and the state's Hazard Communication Standard (WA Rev. Code Sec. 49.70.010et seq.; WA Admin. Code Sec. 296-800-170et seq.). The state worker right-to-know standards mirror federal standards, except for additional provisions for biological agents, container labels, and fees for certain large companies. The state provides hazard communication language translation services of written materials to companies.
Information about hazards. Requested written material about hazardous chemicals must be translated into any of the five most common languages used in the workplace (translations are available from the Department of Labor and Industries); if employees have trouble communicating in English, employers must make reasonable efforts to post notices in their native languages.
Biological agents. Employers must protect employees from exposure to hazardous ...

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