Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) Program Outline
Millions of workers face exposure to hazardous chemicals regularly. Hazardous chemicals can cause severe injuries and illnesses. To combat this, OSHA created the Hazard Communication Standard.
This program focuses on employees’ “right to know” about these chemicals and how to reduce their hazards best.
Let’s look at “what are the parts of an OSHA hazard communication program?” and how it can protect your workers.
What Is the Hazard Communication Program?
There are workplaces where employees may be exposed to hazardous substances. A hazard communication program seeks to limit the damage from this. It makes sure that chemicals that are produced or imported are labeled.
If employees may be exposed to these chemicals, they must be aware. They must also receive training that will prevent injury. Also, if there is a new hazard in the workplace, employers must update this information and training.
Information and training through these programs help reduce injuries and illnesses. In addition, training can help workers identify hazards.
What Is the OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard HCS?
OSHA developed the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) to protect all workers. This happens through a hazard communication program. Therefore, it’s essential to understand the answer to “what are the Hazard Communication Standard HCS requirements for employers?” to cover all possible impacts of chemicals in the workplace.
OSHA’s HCS, commonly called HazCom, regulates what information employers need to share. It also dictates who you need to tell and timelines for sharing.
Any workplace under OSHA’s jurisdiction and with hazardous chemicals onsite must create an HSC program. PHASE Associates can help you create a HazCom program while ensuring adequate training for your workers.
What Are the 5 Elements of Hazardous Communication Standard?
OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard includes five elements:
Material Safety Data Sheets
Each company’s division should build an inventory as part of the chemical inventory element. This should include all hazardous chemicals that are present at their worksite. Through the written program, employers can then explain the present dangers.
Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs) must be available for each hazardous chemical. MSDSs explain important hazard information. Employees should always review these before using the chemicals.
Also, manufacturers must properly label all chemicals. These labels must include:
Any hazard warnings
Manufacturer’s name and address
A worker can transfer materials to a different container. However, they must label this new container. The new container’s label needs the product name and hazard warnings.
Training is a critical part of the Hazard Communication Standard. This helps ensure workers understand the hazards associated with workplace chemicals.
Implement OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard
You can protect your workers from exposure to hazardous chemicals they may encounter on the job. But first, create a Hazard Communication Standard program. Working with a partner like PHASE Associates can make this easier. They will ensure you meet all five elements and continue your schedule over the long term.
More than half of the homes in America have mold issues. Almost every environment, including YOUR home, has mold spores. But this only becomes an issue when there are more spores in your home than outside.
Unfortunately, the temperature in your home might be ideal for its growth. If you discover you have mold in your home, don’t panic. The NJ Department of Health (NJDOH) will agree that Phase Associates can efficiently help when it comes to mold removal.
But can mold be completely removed from a house? Does mold need to be removed professionally? And if so, how is mold professionally removed?
Read on to find out. You’ll learn all this, including the difference between mold removal and mold remediation.
Mold Removal Vs. Mold Remediation
It helps to know the differences in the mold services you need. For example, although often used interchangeably, mold removal and mold remediation aren’t the same.
Mold removal is when you remove mold from an area in your home. If this sounds too simple, it’s really not.
Many unprofessional companies may offer this service. You may even think that cleaning or wiping the area yourself is enough. But hiring a professional mold removal company is vital for efficient mold removal services, however, if more extensive work needs to be done, this is where mold remediation comes in.
Mold remediation companies offer a more in-depth mold removal process. Mold remediation involves several steps:
Cleaning and air filtration
Removal and disposal
A company providing remediation services will also assist with preventative measures. These should help to control any reoccurrence.
How Is Mold Professionally Removed?
With residential mold removal, each situation is unique. Several types of mold may need specialized treatment. You’ll also need to determine the reason for the growth.
Does your assessment show that water damage is the cause? You’ll need to have this repaired first.
The mold remediation company then isolates the area and suppresses any dust. Next, they will remove the contaminated items and safely dispose of them.
Finally, they will clean and dry the area and replace the items they removed with new materials. The entire process usually requires the use of heavy-duty professional equipment. The chances are that you or your regular handyman won’t have these.
Does Mold Need to Be Removed Professionally?
Mold remediation is a detailed process. However, it’s one of the many reasons that mold removal should be professionally done.
There may be instances when a DIY solution may work. However, when the cause of mold is due to water damage or involves sewage. It’s best to call a professional.
This is also important if there’s mold contamination in your HVAC system. In any of these situations, clean-up should be thorough, especially if you have health concerns.
Not sure where to find a professional? Of the many companies that provide mold testing, inspection and assessments, the NJ Department of Health (NJDOH) lists Phase Associates as a top alternative. They can ensure that your problem is handled safely and efficiently.
Can Mold Be Completely Removed From a House?
Mold is always in the environment, so it can’t be completely eliminated. But you can prevent its reoccurrence. It starts by controlling the temperature and moisture in your home.
Always do visual checks so that you can catch any problems before they become significant issues. It would be best if you also replaced your air filters regularly to ensure the air in your home is clean.
The Best Mold Testing, Inspection and Assessments NJ Has to Offer
Unfortunately, mold will always be a part of your life. This fact may not be comforting, especially if you have health issues. But there are things you can do to control its occurrence.
Having the answers to whether mold needs to be removed professionally, how mold is professionally removed, and whether mold can be completely removed from a house should put you at ease.
You can then call NJ’s best mold testing, inspection, and detailed assessment reporting company! Phase Associates has the expertise to deal with all mold problems. Contact us today to learn more about our complete mold services that will detail the proper removal or remediation plan.
For more information or questions regarding asbestos, call us at (973) 597-0750 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Written By: Gary P. Schwartz, CIH, CSP, CMC January 16, 2020
EPA Issues Clarification on Asbestos Sampling in Newer Buildings
There is a common misconception in the environmental industry that buildings built after 1980 are not required to be inspected for asbestos. However, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Natural Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP), the age of the building does not affect whether an inspection needs to be done prior to renovation or demolition.
What is Asbestos?
Asbestos refers to two groups of minerals that are naturally occurring in rock and soil. Due to its fiber strength and heat-resistant characteristics, asbestos is used in a wide variety of building materials. Asbestos containing materials (ACM) include, but are not limited to, floor tiles, roofing shingles, insulation, and plasters.
When asbestos fibers are disturbed, they can easily become airborne. These fibers are then inhaled and can cause fatal diseases including, but not limited to, lung cancer, asbestosis, and mesothelioma.
In January 2016, a letter was sent to the EPA asking for clarification regarding what documentation would be needed to identify building materials as non-ACM. According to the author, the following documentation had been commonly relied on by building owners to waive the inspection requirement under NESHAP:
Safety Data Sheets (SDS) for installed building products
Letters from each manufacturer certifying that their products do not contain ACM
Letters from each installer certifying that the installed products are not ACM
The EPA replied to that letter, stating that the owner/operator, prior to a renovation or demolition, must conduct a thorough inspection of either the whole facility or the portion of the facility that will be affected by the renovation or demolition operation, except for residential structures of four or fewer dwelling units, regardless of the date of its construction.
The Issue with Documentation
The EPA further stated that obtaining documentation from manufacturers and installers is not a guarantee that ACM is not present. There have been several instances where follow-up testing found ACM in buildings built after 1980. Furthermore, the EPA currently allows for asbestos to be used in various types of building materials.
The EPA also mentions that the owner/operator may use certain forms of acceptable documentation to certify materials as non-ACM in lieu of an inspection, depending on the circumstances. Applicable documentation would need to provide an explanation on how the asbestos content or lack thereof was determined. Polarizing Light Microscopy (PLM) is the only method of analysis for asbestos that complies with the regulation.
In conclusion, there are three ways to comply with EPA’s Asbestos NESHAP regulations: conduct asbestos sampling and analysis prior to any renovation or demolition, obtain certain forms of acceptable documentation certifying that building materials are not ACM, or simply assume building materials are ACM and follow the applicable regulations accordingly.