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OSHA’S Hazard Communication System Revised

California workers have until December 1, 2013 to train all workers on the new labels and format for safety data sheets.

OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) has aligned with Globally Harmonized System of Globalization and Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) in order to make the classifying and labeling of chemicals and safety data sheets more cohesive and consistent.

Training for employees on the new labels must include:

  • Product Identifiers:  How to identify the hazardous chemical, including the name, code or batch number.
  • Alert Words:  Use words that convey the severity of the hazard and include “warning” and “danger.”
  • Pictograms:  The symbols that classify the hazards.
  • Hazard Descriptions:  They describe the nature and degree of the hazard.

For more information, please visit the OSHA website.


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A new OSHA Appeals Board decision states that employers will be charged a $5,000 penalty for failure to report a serious injury within 8 hours from the time the company had knowledge of the incident (including evenings and weekends).

The law states that if an employee is killed, hospitalized overnight, has an amputation or is disfigured at work, the employer (manager, supervisor or owner) is required to report the incident to OSHA (Title 8 California Code of Regulations -CCR-section 342(a).

The report must be made to the OSHA office closest to the place where the incident occurred.  A list of offices is available at: Department of Industrial Relations.

We recommend adding the appropriate Cal/OSHA contact number to the emergency phone number list at your place of work.

When reporting the incident, be prepared by having the following information ready:

  • Date and time of incident
  • Employer’s name, address and telephone number
  • Name and job title of person reporting the incident
  • Address of site where incident occurred
  • Name of the person to contact at the site where incident occurred
  • Name and address of the injured employee(s)
  • Nature of the injury
  • List and identity of other law enforcement agencies present at the site of the incident
  • Description of the incident and whether the scene has been compromised since the incident occurred.

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