October 2012

Talk about hazards

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OSHA's new hazard communication standard includes new worker training requirements

by Harry Dietz
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Roofing contractors were cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for violating OSHA's current hazard communication program regulation in about 200 instances during fiscal year 2010-11. It was the 10th most common citation in the roofing industry in states under federal OSHA jurisdiction.

Toward the end of 2013, select elements of a new OSHA hazard communication standard will take effect, and you must begin planning for the training requirements that you will need to implement by Dec. 1, 2013. The new standard is based on internationally agreed upon rules OSHA anticipates will provide for the broadest recognition of identified hazards while reducing costs of disseminating chemical hazard information.


OSHA first published a hazard communication standard in 1983. Initially, the rule only covered the manufacturing industry; full implementation and enforcement of the standard in all OSHA industry sectors, including construction, has been in place since 1989. The hazard communication standard requires employers with workers exposed to hazardous chemicals to develop, implement and maintain a written hazard communication program at each workplace. At a minimum, a written program must address hazardous chemicals container labeling, material safety data sheets (MSDSs) maintenance and worker training...

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Hazard communication standard

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