California Hazard Communication laws & safety compliance analysis

California Hazard Communication : What you need to know

COMPARISON: STATE VS. FEDERAL

California’s hazard communication (HazCom) regulation is intended to ensure that the hazards of all chemicals produced or imported are classified and that information concerning the classified hazards is transmitted to employers and employees in their workplaces. It is part of the federally approved California Occupational Safety and Health Act (Cal/OSH Act). The California regulation applies to all employers, in both the private and public sectors, that have hazardous substances in their workplaces. It also applies to laboratories that provide quality control analyses for manufacturing or that produce hazardous chemicals for commercial purposes.

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California adopted the federal worker right-to-know requirements and has adopted requirements that are stricter than federal standards:

    —The state requires manufacturers, importers, and employers classifying chemicals to treat chemicals listed by specific sources as hazardous. —The federal standard allows for release of trade secret information to health professionals who enter into confidentiality agreements, while the state standard allows access to safety professionals as well. —California Proposition 65 requires employers to provide warning labels and other written information to employees for a specific list of chemicals determined by the state of California to cause cancer or reproductive harm. —Employers must inform employees of specific rights the employees have. —Pesticide handlers and field workers must be provided with written HazCom program leaflets, pesticide use records, and safety data sheets (SDSs) for pesticides.

The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health, better known as Cal/OSHA, administers and enforces all ...


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