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Hazardous Substances Communication

This checklist is not all-inclusive. You should add to it or delete items that do not apply to your business; however, carefully consider each item and make your decision. You should refer to Minnesota statutes and rules, and federal OSHA standards adopted by reference in Minnesota for specific guidance that may apply to your work situation (see (Note: This checklist is typical for general industry but not for construction or maritime industries.)
  • Is there a list of hazardous substances used in your workplace and an MSDS readily available for each hazardous substance used?
  • Is there a current written exposure control plan for occupational exposure to bloodborne pathogens and other potentially infectious materials, where applicable?
  • Is there a written hazard communication program dealing with MSDSs, labeling and employee training?
  • Is each container for a hazardous substance (i.e., vats, bottles, storage tanks, etc.) labeled with product identity and a hazard warning (communication of the specific health hazards and physical hazards)?
  • Is there an employee training program for hazardous substances that includes:
    • an explanation of what an MSDS is and how to use and obtain one;
    • MSDS contents for each hazardous substance or class of substances;
    • explanation of "A Right to Know";
    • identification of where an employee can see the written hazard communication program;
    • location of physical and health hazards in particular work areas and the specific protective measures to be used; and
    • details of the hazard communication program, including how to use the labeling system and MSDSs
  • Does the employee training program on the bloodborne pathogens standard contain the following elements:
    • an accessible copy of the standard and an explanation of its contents;
    • a general explanation of the epidemiology and symptoms of bloodborne diseases;
    • an explanation of the modes of transmission of Bloodborne Pathogens;
    • an explanation of the employer's exposure control plan and the means by which employees can obtain a copy of the written plan;
    • an explanation of the appropriate methods for recognizing tasks and the other activities that may involve exposure to blood and other potentially infectious materials;
    • an explanation of the use and limitations of methods that will prevent or reduce exposure, including appropriate engineering controls, work practices and PPE;
    • information on the types, proper use, location, removal, handling, decontamination and disposal of PPE;
    • an explanation of the basis for selection of PPE;
    • information on the hepatitis B vaccine;
    • information on the appropriate actions to take and persons to contact in an emergency involving blood or other potentially infectious materials;
    • an explanation of the procedure to follow if an exposure incident occurs, including the methods of reporting the incident and the medical follow-up that will be made available;
    • information on post-exposure evaluations and follow-up; and
    • an explanation of signs, labels and color coding.
  • Are employees trained in:
    • how to recognize tasks that might result in occupational exposure;
    • how to use work practice, engineering controls and PPE, and their limitations;
    • how to obtain information on the types, selection, proper use, location, removal, handling, decontamination and disposal of PPE; and
    • who to contact and what to do in an emergency.
Source: Federal OSHA