Osha Guidelines

Written by Jeremy Horelick
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OSHA guidelines are designed to keep workplaces safe and workers free from injury. There are an estimated 30 million workers being exposed to more than half a million chemicals each year in the U.S., and it is the agency's job to try to reduce that number. Even if you're simply running an office, there are some basic measures that you must enforce, from the arrangement of tables and chairs in relation to fire exits to the proper storage techniques for water bottles and office supplies.

OSHA standards are outlined in the agency's Hazard Communication document, which details the dangers of certain toxic substances. This includes health hazard definitions, hazard determinations, and information sources. The document also features appendices that detail the specifics of trade secrets and guidelines for employer compliance with the Hazard Communications Standard (HCS).

More About OSHA Guidelines and the HCS

The HCS is concerned chiefly with communicating hazards to workers and employers, and not with forcing those employers to evaluate their own risks. Risk-assessment is a highly complex field and often requires diagnostics by certified experts. It's impossible for any single business owner to be fully aware of every potential hazard in his or her shop, which is why the manufacturers of the compounds themselves are responsible for submitting accurate MSDS with their shipments.

To meet OSHA guidelines, it's often easier to introduce an online training program. That way employees get the information they need with the same testing requirements, but without the hassle and cost of bringing in a safety expert to conduct a general lecture. There is OSHA training software available that is vetted for compliance standards first, so after your employees pass, you can rest assured that you're up to the most recent compliance minimums.

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