Hazard communication begins when chemical manufacturers and importers evaluate the chemicals they produce or import, classify the chemicals’ health and physical hazards, and determine the appropriate hazard categories for each class of chemicals.
Chemical manufacturers and importers must also prepare labels that include signal words, pictograms, and hazard statements for their products in each hazard class and category.
Next, they must prepare a safety data sheet – known by the abbreviation “SDS” – for each product. An SDS includes detailed information about the product’s hazards. Manufacturers and importers must include an SDS and a warning label with each container of product that they ship to a customer. Employers and employees use the SDS for information about hazards and to obtain advice on safety precautions.
The part of the process that affects your workplace is the written hazard communication plan. The plan, which you produce, must identify the hazardous chemicals at your workplace and describe how you will use safety data sheets, warning labels, and training to protect employees and keep them informed about the product’s chemical hazards.