Good news for the safety of New Jersey construction workers: OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, has developed a new Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) addressing chemical safety in the workplace, making both chemical manufacturers and employers take responsibility for toxic exposure in the workplace.
Before the end of this year, chemical manufacturers and importers will be required to evaluate the hazards of their chemicals and prepare labels and safety data sheets clearly outlining the dangers to their downstream customers. Employers will then be held responsible for disseminating this information to their workers.
By December of this year, employers must have completed worker training programs that include:
- Explanation of all new label elements and the revised Safety Data Sheet (SDS) format
- Examining label descriptions to ensure proper storage of hazardous chemicals
- Discussion of locating first aid information on the label quickly when employees or emergency personnel require it
- Evaluation of multiple risks (if a chemical has multiple hazards, several pictograms will appear on the label and the employee must identify each)
- General understanding of the separate label elements and how they are used (if there are similar precautionary statements for one chemical, the label will be marked with a warning that provides the most protective information)
Although the first official compliance date of the new HCS is December 1, 2013, employers have been advised to begin training their workers earlier as the new labels are already appearing in the workplace.
If you have experienced a chemical injury at work, you do not have to wait for these new laws to be in effect to claim compensation. Experienced Morristown construction accident lawyer Manfred F. Ricciardelli, Jr. can advise you on your legal options today in your FREE consultation, and we charge nothing unless we win your case. Call 877-360-0183 today to get started.
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