More than 32 million workers (which includes more than 20% of the entire U.S. workforce) are exposed to hazardous chemical products in the workplace. According to the Occupational Health & Safety Administration (OSHA), 650,000 different chemicals are present in more than 3 million American workplaces.
Last week, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reported to renew its alliance with the Society for Chemical Hazard Communication to reduce and prevent worker exposure to chemicals hazards. OSHA also reported that the alliance intends to increase awareness of the requirements of the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals and the rights and responsibilities of workers and employers under the OSH Act.
We avoid the large tankers rolling down our highways displaying warnings of Hazardous Materials. We see metal drums in warehouses and gated facilities with bold signs alerting us to harmful chemicals. We hear on the news about train derailments and chemical spills that impact the area... and sometimes lead to large scale evacuations.
In an effort to reduce the number of injuries and illnesses caused by hazardous chemicals, The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) has made revisions to the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) to align it with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS)."Exposure to hazardous chemicals is one of the most serious threats facing American workers today," said U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis. "Revising OSHA's Hazard Communication standard will improve the quality and consistency of hazard information, making it safer for workers to do their jobs and easier for employers to stay competitive." The update is intended to provide a common and coherent approach to classifying chemicals and communicating hazard information on labels and safety data sheets.