Are you aware of The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) new training requirements as per the revised Hazard Communication Standard (HCS)?
If not, then you must know that OSHA has revised its Hazard Communication Standard (HCS), to align with the United Nations’ “Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS)” with the goal of improving worker safety.
The revised HCS brings with it many new requirements for manufacturers, distributors of hazardous chemicals and also for the other employers who use hazardous chemicals in their workplace.
Under this new standard, all the employers must conduct safety training for their workers on the new labeling elements and safety data sheets format by December 1, 2013.
As per the revised standards the new Safety training requirements include
1. Training on label elements that should take in
- The type of information the employee would see on the new labels like:
- Product identifier – How should they identify the hazardous chemical
- Signal word – How should they understand the level of hazard severity seeing the label
- Pictogram – Details about the eight designated pictograms under this standard
- Hazard statement(s): Descriptions of the nature, applicable area and severity of the hazards of various chemicals
- Precautionary statement(s): Recommended measures that will help the employees minimize or prevent adverse effects
- Additional areas of how an employee can use labels to improve their workplace safety
2. Training on the new standardized format of the Safety Data Sheets (SDS) including:
- Information about Standardized 16-section format and its impact on the other sections
- How is the information on the label related to Safety Data Sheets
To assist employers accomplish the required training, OSHA has also come up with additional materials that can help the trainers like,
- Safety data sheets
- Quick cards
- A list of frequently asked questions
- A brief on labels
The challenges of training include:
1. To ensure that all the employees become aware that they are exposed to hazardous chemicals and they can protect themselves using the precautionary and protective measures (Indication through labels and safety data sheets) followed by the employer.
2. Completion of Training before December 1, 2013.
3. Reach out to the employees in their Local Language to maximize Learning.
In my opinion, eLearning is a good choice, because an interactive eLearning course can offer real-life examples that drive the importance of safety in the minds of employees. We can simplify the language and customize it to suit specific audience and their literacy levels.
We can include interactive quizzes throughout the courses, to ensure that the employees get the message. We can track the employee’s progress and the scores upon successful completion of the course through LMS. These scores documented via an LMS, are accepted by most of the regulatory authorities. Also eLearning courses can be quickly rolled out to meet the deadline in any language.
Screen shot from an eLearning course on “Hazards at Workplace”
So do not delay, because the deadline is coming closer and you should comply with OSHA’s training compliance requirements to be on the safe side.