Chemicals in the Workplace
In the cleaning industry we are surrounded by chemicals every day. There are lots of dangers and you should be aware of what you are touching or possibly inhaling. Did you know that as an employer, there are certain guidelines that you have to adhere to when dealing with chemicals? As an employee you have the need and right to know the chemicals to which you are exposed, their hazards, and how to protect yourself when working. This concept is the purpose of the Hazard Communication Standard (HazCom) issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Visit the ISSA website's Cleaning Chemicals in the Workplace for more information.
Here is a list of requirements for an employer with chemicals on-site*:
- Identify/list all hazardous chemicals (hazard evaluation)
- Retain MSDS's and labels for hazardous chemicals, or obtain these materials if they are not passed along.
- Develop and implement a written Hazard Communication Program, covering the labeling, MSDS's, other record-keeping, and employee training required by the standard.
- Communicate hazard information to employees through labels, MSDS's, and a formal training program.
* This list is in no way designed to replace the actual written requirements by OSHA and should be verified for complete, up-to-date, accuracy.