The OSHA Hazard Communication Program (HCP) and the OSHA Chemical Hygiene Plan (CHP) are cornerstones for chemical safety and health in the workplace. The primary elements for these programs include:

  • A chemical inventory
  • Material safety data sheets (MSDSs)
  • Labeling of all containers with the product name and an appropriate hazard warning
  • Training of staff on safety and health aspects of the materials
  • Development of a written program
In addition, the CHP also requires the development of standard operating procedures (SOPs) for laboratory chemicals. MSDSs and primary container labels contain much of the safety and health information required to safely work with chemicals. Employees must be trained before they actually use chemicals at work.
A method of training and documentation that can be effective is use of an “open book - fill in the blank” type quiz. Employees complete the quiz as the training is conducted. They record the key points in their own handwriting as they are being trained.
A second CHP training exercise, often used in conjunction with the quiz, is to provide the MSDS for a material commonly used in the facility along with product-specific questions. Employees, working either singly, or in groups, use the MSDS to answer the questions. These exercises can help reinforce the information provided during training and provide much more defensible proof of training than a simple sign off sheet.
By The Safety Guys