Washington Hazard Communication laws & safety compliance analysis

Washington Hazard Communication : What you need to know

Comparison: Overview

Washington’s hazard communication rules mirror federal regulations, except that the state has adopted rules for biological agents, hazardous waste operations and emergency response (HAZWOPER) training and education, container labeling, safety data sheets (SDSs), and hazardous substance fees that are stricter than federal rules. Certain employers, as classified by the current industry classification system used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), must pay fees annually 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.

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See the state section HAZWOPER for more information about HAZWOPER training and education and the state section SDS for more information about 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.

Requirements
BIOLOGICAL AGENTS
Washington Administrative Code (WAC) 296-800-11045

Duty to protect employees from exposure. Employers must protect employees from exposure to hazardous concentrations of biological agents or biohazards that may result from processing, handling, or using infectious materials or waste. Biohazards are infectious agents that present a risk or potential risk of death, injury, or illness to employees. Potential exposure to biological agents occurs during cleanup or other tasks where employees handle:

  • Animals or animal waste
  • Bodily fluids
  • Biological agents in a medical research lab
  • Mold or mildew

Warning signs, tags, and labels. ...


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