New chemical standard introduces pictograms

The revised version of the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS), which was announced in mid-March by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), will use nine new pictograms that show what health, physical and environmental hazards are present.

Each pictogram is determined by the chemical hazard classification. The Health Hazard pictogram will be placed on items that may be a carcinogen, a respiratory sensitizer, or pose an aspiration toxicity threat. The Exclamation Mark pictogram will be used to warn workers of skin and eye irritants and respiratory tract irritants, among other toxic effects. Flame pictograms will warn workers of any flammable or self-heating products, as well as those that emit flammable gas.

The final HCS labels eight of the nine pictograms as mandatory, with the exception of the non-mandatory environmental pictogram, as environmental hazards are not inside OSHA's jurisdiction.

Ensure workers understand the hazards depicted by each pictogram, and provide appropriate training and safety products to protect them from chemical hazards. Safety glasses, respiratory protection, work gloves and protective clothing can be used to protect workers from chemical hazards. 

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