WORKPLACE STANDARDS-OSHA REQUIREMENTS
Each employer shall furnish to each of his employees employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to his employees.
General Industry Standards: Applicable to All Workplaces:
- Hazard Communication
- Bloodborne Pathogens
- Emergency Action Plan
- Walking/Working Surfaces
- Medical First Aid
Employers with employees who may be exposed to hazardous chemicals in the workplace must prepare and implement a written Hazard Communication Program and comply with other requirements of the standard.
The program must include labels on containers of hazardous chemicals, safety data sheets (SDSs) for hazardous chemicals, and training for workers.
The written program requires employers to maintain a list of the hazardous chemicals known to be present in the workplace.
Employers are required to ensure that containers in the workplace are labeled.
Any container of hazardous chemicals in the workplace must at a minimum include the product identifier and general information concerning the hazards of the chemical.
Must maintain copies of SDSs for all hazardous chemicals present in the workplace and ensure access by employees.
Employers are required to train employees on the hazardous chemicals in their work area before their initial assignment and when new hazards are introduced into the work area.
Workers must understand that they are exposed to hazardous chemicals.
- Exposure Limits
OSHA sets permissible exposure levels (PEL) for certain chemical agents and requires a written plan for safe storage and handling:
- Ethylene Oxide – 8 hour PEL is 1 part per million
- Formaldehyde — 8 hour PEL is 0.75 ppm
- Anesthetic gases
- Radiation Standards
Emergency Action Plan
Describes the actions employees should take to ensure their safety in a fire or other emergency situation.
Employers with 10 or more employees must have a written emergency plan when required by a standard.
Plans should include:
- Handling of toxic chemicals.
- Escape procedures and escape route assignments
- Special procedures for employees who perform or shut down critical operations
- Systems to account for all employees after evacuation and for information about the plan
- Rescue and medical duties for employees who perform them.
- Means for reporting fires and other emergencies.
Fire Safety: OSHA recommends that all employers have a Fire Prevention Plan. A plan is mandatory when required by an OSHA standard (Ethylene Oxide).
Safe Walking/Working Surfaces
Medical and First Aid: OSHA requires employers to provide medical and first-aid personnel and supplies commensurate with the hazards of the workplace.