Complying with OSHA's Hazardous Waste Standards
OTHER PARTS OF THIS ARTICLEPt. 1: Identifying Common Hazardous WastesPt. 2: This PagePt. 3: Signage and Labeling Hazardous MaterialsPt. 4: Hazardous Materials: Proper Storage StrategiesPt. 5: Managing Compressed-Gas CylindersPt. 6: Necessary Supplies for Hazmat EmergenciesPt. 7: Hazardous Materials: Focus on Flammables
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires employers to provide a workplace as free as possible of recognized hazards, including chemical hazards. OSHA regulates many hazardous materials found in facilities.
The most comprehensive regulation is the hazard communication standard, more commonly referred to as the right-to-know standard. Under the OSHA General Industry Standard 1910.1200, employers must communicate the hazards of chemicals used in workplaces through training, labeling and signage.
Managers have a duty to identify hazardous materials in their facilities and maintain information on the type of hazards these materials present. Manufacturers or suppliers of chemicals must provide managers with information on chemical hazards their products present by generating material safety data sheets (MSDS) for all hazardous products. Managers often find MSDS review and management is much easier to implement with commercially available, computerized MSDS software.