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Why are HazCom and HazMat labels so important?

One in twenty workers suffers, annually, from some exposure to hazardous chemicals in the workplace. The symptoms range from temporary symptoms to chronic disease or death. Over 10,000 OSHA HazCom violations are issued yearly. HazCom citations are typically the leading OSHA’s leading citation cause.
Greater awareness of HazCom is critical. Understanding a label, especially in an emergency and under pressure should not be a daunting task. Effective labels and, just as critical, appropriate and engaging training will make the workplace safer.
"Compliance-oriented” standards are being replaced by "performance-oriented" standards. OSHA is less likely to issue a citation because of a failure to have each hazard well marked — but far more likely to quiz your employees. Do they understand the rating scales? What does a "4" mean? What personal protection equipment should you wear with a code of "G"? What are dangers are there in handling this hazardous chemical? Here, employers find out how good their training really was. The OSHA compliance directive states, "Labeling schemes based on abstract rating scales require that employees be well-trained in their meaning."
The trends are towards more comprehensive labels that link more closely with the MSDS / SDS. Training has also gotten more sophisticated. Online quizzes and greater knowledge of the chronic hazards of specific chemicals has replaced the annual viewing of the twenty-minute training video that is easily forgotten.
Our belief is that a well designed wizard that not only makes it easy to interpret the HCS and GHS standards but, importantly, produces labels that can be easily understood will make a difference in workers’ lives.

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