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.
More than 32 million workers (more than 20% of the entire U.S. workforce) are exposed to hazardous chemical products in the workplace. According to OSHA, 650,000 different chemicals are present in more than 3 million American workplaces
With so many workers exposed to and using thousands of chemicals on the job each year, many of those workers become sick from this occupational exposure. The Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels shared in a press release, "Our renewed partnership with SCHC will extend our efforts toward ensuring healthier workers and safer workplaces."
We all know that chemicals are vital to our way of life. From pharmaceuticals that cure illnesses to pesticides that improve the extent and quality of food production, cleaning products and more, chemicals are critical in many industrial processes for developing products important to global standards of living. Chemicals are not going away.
The real problem with chemical exposure as identified by the International Labor Organization (ILO) is that governments, employers and workers continue to struggle to address controlling exposure to chemicals in the workplace, as well as limiting emissions to the environment.
OSHA and SCHC will develop information materials on the health and physical hazards of chemicals, and elements of a GHS-compliant label and Safety Data Sheets based on OSHA requirements. In addition, SCHC will host OSHA training seminars and webinars on hazard communication health and safety issues. Through the alliance, OSHA has reported to reach more than 28,000 attendees during two previous OSHA webinars.
SCHC is a professional society promoting the improvement of hazard communication for chemicals. With 724 members, the group represents industrial, consumer and specialty chemical companies, pharmaceutical firms, manufacturers, distributors and importers, government agencies, universities and consultants. It has been reported that the alliance agreement has been renewed for five years.
As stated in the April 13, 2015 OSHA Trade News Release, through its Alliance Program, OSHA works with unions, consulates, trade and professional organizations, faith- and community-based organizations, businesses and educational institutions to prevent workplace fatalities, injuries and illnesses. The purpose of each alliance is to develop compliance assistance tools and resources, and to educate workers and employers about their rights and responsibilities. Alliance Program participants do not receive exemptions from OSHA inspections or any other enforcement benefits.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance.
Arbill offers training that includes discussion and hands on activities for the identification of hazardous materials. Additionally, Arbill offers various regulatory compliance sessions including Hazard Communication (HAZCOM), HAZWOPER 8-Hour First Responder, HAZWOPER Refresher, HAZWOPER 24-Hour and HAZWOPER 40-Hour sessions. Arbill also offers a full line of chemical-resistant gloves with a number of different coatings for protection. We are here to help protect your workers with the right glove.
For more information about making your workplace safe, contact the safety specialists at 800.523.5367 or visit www.arbill.com.