Employees may now be better protected against chemical-related work accidents in Fitchburg and elsewhere. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently revised its Hazard Communication Standard. Now it’s aligned with the system that the United Nations’ uses to label these materials. The revisions of these standards could potentially save the lives of nearly 45 workers a year in addition to the more than $475 million it’s expected to bring in through enhanced productivity in the U.S. each year.
Our Massachusetts workers compensation lawyers understand that the new Hazard Communication Standard will help to improve the consistency, quality and clarity of the danger-related information that employees will receive. All of this new information will help to make it safer for employees to complete their jobs and will help employers to stay competitive in marketplaces around the world. It all starts with a little bit of understanding.
As we said, the Hazard Communication Standard is being revised to match the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals in the UN. The new Standard will be in full effect in 2016 and will help to reduce the confusion about the dangers of chemicals on the job, help to boost safety training as well as help to improve the understanding of hazards presented by chemicals, especially for low literacy workers. Under the new standard, chemicals will be classified according to their physical and health hazards. The new standard will also help to ensure that safety data sheets and labels are consistent for all chemicals that are produced in the U.S. as well as the ones that are imported.
In addition to the fatalities that the new standard is expected to prevent every year, it’s also expected to prevent nearly 500 illnesses and injuries annually. It’s also expected to reduce trade barriers and result in savings of more than $32 million to U.S. businesses that update labels and data sheets for dangerous chemicals.
Dr. David Michaels with the Occupational Safety and Health reminds the work force about the Hazard Communication Standard of 1983. That standard gave employers and employees the right to know about the risks associated with these dangerous chemicals. The newly-revised standard gives employers and employees the right to understand these same risks and dangers.
There were more than 400 workers killed because of harmful chemicals on the job in 2010, according to preliminary statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Officials with OSHA are hoping to significantly reduce this number by helping to better educate employees about the risks associated with dangerous chemicals. Chemicals are some of the most dangerous hazards that workers across the country are being exposed to on a daily basis. It’s important to keep workers educated about the risks associated with these materials to help to keep them safe on the job.
If you, a coworker or someone in your family has been injured on the job and would like to file a disability claim, contact the Boston workers’ compensation lawyers at Jeffrey Glassman Injury Lawyers. We are a law firm that is dedicated to fighting for the rights of injured employees in Boston, Quincy, Foxborough and elsewhere throughout the state. Call today to schedule a free and confidential appointment at (617) 777-7777.
More Blog Entries:
New Alliance to Help Minimize Chemical-Related Work Injuries in Boston and Elsewhere, Massachusetts Workers Compensation Lawyers Blog, March 9, 2012