As part of the 2012 GHS alignment of the Hazard Communication Standard (1910.200), OSHA began requiring specific label elements appear on chemical used at workplaces.
One of those label elements was the hazard statement (or hazard statements).
In this article, we'll briefly explain the required Haz-Com label elements and then explain what a Hazard Communication hazard statement is.
As mention above, a hazard statement is one of several required label elements that must appear on a chemical container as a result of the 2012 Hazard Communication Standard.
By way of introduction, then, check out this sample from our online Hazard Communication training course to learn about the required Haz-Com label elements and get an introduction to the hazard statement.
As you saw in the video above, the hazard statement(s) is text that provides more information about the type of hazard(s) that the chemical poses. As a result, it's a supplement to the hazard information that the Haz-Com pictogram provides.
More specifically, in OSHA's own wording, the hazard statement is:
A statement assigned to a hazard class and category that describes the nature of the hazard(s) of a chemical, including, where appropriate, the degree of hazard.
Each hazard statement has a code, which begins with the letter H and is followed by three digits. According to the HCS, only the hazard statement phrase is required for labeling.
There are many possible Haz-Com hazard statements that can appear on a chemical label. Again, as OSHA puts it:
The hazard statements are specific to the hazard classification categories, and chemical users should always see the same statement for the same hazards no matter what the chemical is or who produces it.
The hazard classification categories mentioned above are explained by OSHA in this helpful Hazard Communication Hazard Classification Guidance for Manufacturers, Importers, and Employers (OSHA 3844-02 2016).
The hazard statements that the GHS-aligned 2012 version of OSHA's Hazard Communication Standard provide helpful information to people who work with hazardous chemicals about the types of hazards the chemicals pose. They do this in combination with the Hazard Communication pictograms, and combine with all the Hazard Communication chemical label elements and other Hazard Communication requirements, such as the safety data sheets (SDSs) and written Hazard Communication Program, to provide a worker the "right to know" about the chemical hazards at work and how to work safely in their presence.
The sample below is from an online hazard communication training course that employers could provide to employees to begin introducing them to hazard communication and things like the Haz-Com hazard statements.
Let us know if you have more questions about Haz-Com hazard statements or the OSHA Hazard Communication regulation.