What Are Some Major Regulations on Hazardous Materials?


Quick Answer

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires businesses with hazardous materials on the premises to maintain a written hazard communication policy, ensure that containers are properly identified, provide employees with Material Safety and Data Sheets, and train workers how to respond to exposure. The Department of Transportation requires that hazardous materials be properly packaged and labelled, and it provides procedural requirements and operational policies that govern shipping hazardous materials.

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Full Answer

OSHA regulates aspects of the general industry workplace, such as the storage and handling of fuels and gas in vehicles, the proper display of Department of Transportation labels and emergency response procedures. Industrial work sites must use specific vehicles in areas where materials such as hexamine or aluminum dust are present in combustible levels.

OSHA requires employers to train and educate workers on the dangers of hazardous chemicals and toxic materials in the workplace and ensure that employees know how to handle the substances and protect themselves from exposure. The agency defines air-quality standards in the workplace and sets limits on allowable concentrations of airborne hazardous chemicals. These permissible exposure limits vary according to the setting, such as general industry, shipyards and construction. The regulations regarding airborne hazardous substances are not comprehensive, and some require updating. OSHA requires that employers supply respirators to employees at no cost when mechanical solutions for contaminated air are not in place.

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