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Hazard Communication

The Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) was written and enacted in 1983 by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and is enforced in the State of Wisconsin by the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services (WI Statues 101.055).

HCS is based on a simple concept, that employees have both a need and a right to know and understand the hazards and identities of the chemicals that they are exposed to when working in non-laboratory work areas. 

In March 2012, the Hazard Communication Standard was revised to align with the United Nations' Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals also known as GHS and the changes will be fully implemented in 2016.

The revised standard requires the manufacturer or importer of chemicals to classify their chemicals according to their physical and health hazards, establish specific formatted shipping labels with the chemical identity, pictograms, signal works, precautionary statements, hazard statements and the manufacturer name, address and phone number as well as create a 16 section Safety Data Sheet (SDS) formerly Material Safety Data Sheet (MDS) for each chemical.

There are six elements of the HCS and GHS:

  1. Written Program
  2. Hazard Classification/Labeling System
  3. Safety Data Sheets
  4. Chemical/Hazardous Materials Inventory
  5. Chemical Exposure
  6. Training 

E-mail EHS@uwosh.edu to be enrolled in the D2L Safety Course. Provide your supervisor with documentation that you have completed the accompanying quiz. 

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