Why OSHA Compliance Matters
In the 1970’s, OSHA established permissible exposure limits (PELs) in regards to chemical safety regulations. As time has gone on, information has evolved on chemical exposure risks that has caused OSHA to adapt their safety regulations. The OSHA Hazard Communication standard 1910.1200 sets forth a regulation that provides employees with the “right to know” about chemical hazards.
Exposure to hazardous chemicals in the workplace puts any and all employees at risk for medical and physical harm. Federal, state, and local environmental safety regulations exist for the following reasons – environmental conservation, protecting employees, preventing accidents, and savings lives.
In terms of chemical safety regulations such as the OSHA/GHS Standard, proper hazard identification and a written plan that is trainable, accessible, and available to employees is key to compliance. Maintaining a current hazard communication plan that includes Safety-Data-Sheets and emergency information provides employees with a hazard readiness arraignment.
Identifying and labeling hazards such as chemicals, waste, and other hazardous areas is a significant step in protecting the workplace. Whether it be cautioning employees from exposure to hazardous chemicals with a GHS Label, or notifying emergency responders of hazard information with an NFPA diamond (see below), hazard identification and communication is vastly important to a safe work environment.
Moving Beyond Compliance
Base level environmental compliance fulfills the legal responsibility companies have to their employees and the environment, at just that, a base level. Moving beyond basic compliance can prevent accidents, save lives, and protect employees on a level that moves above the legal obligation.
What are some steps that I can take to move beyond compliance?
- Forward Thinking: Look ahead in terms of facility safety needs (signs, labels, SDS’s, etc.)
- Implement & Training: Create a written plan that all employees receive proper training on.
- Monitoring & Assessing: Review the implemented safety plans for potential issues.
- Adapting: Adjust your safety plan where necessary.
- Prioritize: Protecting employees is the absolute priority – compliance is second.
HCL Labels is the leading supplier of Safety Signs & Labels