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V. Employee Training and Information

Employers must provide employees with effective information and training on hazardous chemicals that are located in their work area at the time of their initial assignment and whenever a new physical or health hazard is introduced into the work area.

Employees must be informed of:

  1. The requirements of the Hazard Communication Standard (29CFR 1910.1200).
  2. The location and availability of the written Hazard Communication Plan.
  3. Physical and health hazards of chemicals in the work area and their locations.
  4. Location of the hazardous chemicals inventory and the Safety Data Sheets for all hazardous chemicals in their work area.
  5. Methods and observation techniques used to detect the presence or release of a hazardous chemical.
  6. How to lessen or prevent exposure to these hazardous chemicals through usage of controls, work practices, and personal protective equipment (PPE).
  7. How to use the information provided on SDSs.
  8. How to read and understand labels.
  9. Contingency plans for medical and accident response.
  10. The proper use, maintenance, and storage of any PPE required.
  11. Procedures implemented to provide employee information about chemical hazards for non-routine or special tasks.

See Attachments B, C, and D


There are various types of chemical hazards, for classification purposes the various types are defined as Physical Hazards, Health Hazards, Simple Asphyxiant, Combustible Dust, Pyrophoric Gas, and Hazards Not Otherwise Classified (HNOC). By completing an inventory listing these chemicals and reviewing SDSs, these chemicals can be identified. 

Physical Hazard

A physical hazard is defined as a chemical that is classified as posing one of the following hazardous effects: explosive; flammable (gases, aerosols, liquids, solids); oxidizer (liquid, solid, or gas); self-reactive; pyrophoric (liquid or solid); self-heating; organic peroxide; corrosive to metal; gas under pressure; or in contact with water emits flammable gas. There are 16 physical hazard classes and their associated hazard categories, which can be located in Appendix B to 29CFR 1910.1200 – Physical Criteria.

Health Hazard

A health hazard is defined as a chemical which is classified as posing one of the following hazardous effects: acute toxicity (any route of exposure); skin corrosion or irritation; serious eye damage or eye irritation; respiratory or skin sensitization; germ cell mutagenicity; carcinogenicity; reproductive toxicity; specific target organ toxicity (single or repeated exposure); or aspiration hazard. There are 10 health hazard classes and their associated hazard categories defined in Appendix A to 29CFR 1910.1200 - Health Hazard Criteria.

Simple Asphyxiant

A simple asphyxiant means a substance or mixture that displaces oxygen in the ambient atmosphere, and can thus cause oxygen deprivation in those who are exposed, leading to unconsciousness and death.           

Combustible Dust

OSHA does not define a combustible dust in the 2012 HCS; however the definition can be inferred from other OSHA publications and emphasis programs regarding combustible dusts. A combustible dust may be defined as a combustible particulate solid that presents a fire or deflagration hazard when suspended in air or some other oxidizing medium over a range of concentrations, regardless of particle size or shape.

Pyrophoric Gas

A pyrophoric gas is defined as a chemical in a gaseous stat that will ignite spontaneously in air at a temperature of 130°F (54.4°C) or below.

Hazard Not Otherwise Classified

A hazard not otherwise classified means an adverse physical or health effect not identified through evaluation of scientific evidence during the classification process that does not meet the specified criteria for the physical and health hazard classes addressed in the 29CFR1910.1200 standard.