Hazard Communication Program - Revision 1
This directive provides updated information for the FSIS Hazard Communication Program (HCP). The purpose of the HCP is to ensure that FSIS employees working in regulated establishments receive information on the potential hazards of the chemicals in their workplaces. This includes potential hazards during normal operating conditions and in foreseeable emergencies. Information about the FSIS HCP is provided through training and the FSIS Form 4791-35, Local Hazard Communication Information (level 2 e-authorization is needed to access the form) . This directive is revised in its entirety.
NOTE: FSIS Form 4791-35 , is titled Local Hazard Communication Information because it contains information specific to the location of the supervisor who completes the form.
FSIS Directive 4791.5, Hazard Communication Program, 4/27/90
A. FSIS is required to maintain an Occupational Safety and Health Program that complies with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) Safety and Health Act of 1970 (the Act), Section 19, Federal Agency Safety Programs and Responsibilities; Executive Order (E.O.) 12196, Occupational Safety and Health Programs for Federal Employees; and 29 CFR 1960, Basic Program Elements for Federal Employees.
B. For FSIS employees working in privately owned establishments, the Agency does not have authority to abate hazardous conditions directly. However, the Agency is required to provide employees with safe and healthy working conditions as part of the overall inspection process. Means used by the Agency to reduce exposure to hazardous work conditions include: administrative controls, providing employees with proper personal protective equipment (PPE), and removing employees (including withdrawing inspection program personnel (IPP)) from unsafe conditions as necessary for protection.
C. The FSIS HCP is an essential part of the required Occupational Safety and Health program required by Section 19 of the Act and E.O. 12196 and is established via this directive and completed form FSIS 4791-35. Frontline Supervisor (FLS) or designee completes the form for each FSIS workplace where employees have the potential to be exposed to hazardous chemicals.
D. FSIS developed the HCP in accordance with the requirements of the OSHA, Hazard Communication Standard (HCS), 29 CFR 1910.1200. A copy of the OSHA HCS can be found on OSHA’s hazard communication webpage at www.osha.gov/dsg/hazcom.
E. Reference directives related to the HCP described in this directive are: FSIS Directive 4791.1, Basic Occupational Safety and Health Program, FSIS Directive 4791.12 Reporting and Correcting Occupational Hazards, and FSIS Directive 4791.13, Workplace Inspections, and Injury, Illness and Motor Vehicle Incident Reporting.
IV. FSIS SUPERVISOR RESPONSIBILITIES
A. The FLS or designee is responsible for developing the local hazard communication plan for each establishment.
B. The FLS or designee is to meet with the establishment management to obtain site specific information regarding chemical hazards, proper labeling and SDS for the chemicals used by the establishment to which IPP may be exposed.
C. The FLS or designee is to ensure that IPP receive training on all elements of the local hazard communication plan as described below.
V. LOCAL HAZARD COMMUNICATION PLAN
A. The local hazard communication plan consists of the following required elements:
- Identification of Hazardous Chemicals (Chemical List);
- Identification of Containers with Hazardous Chemicals (Container Labels);
- Safety Data Sheets (SDS);
- Training; and
- Completed form FSIS 4791-35
B. The completed form is to be posted in the USDA office.
A. The FSIS Form 4791-35 is to list the Hazardous Chemicals that IPP could potentially be exposed to using the same name as the “product identifier” (e.g., the product name, common name or chemical name) that appears on the label and SDS of the hazardous chemical. If more room is needed, continue the list on an attachment sheet. Chemicals IPP could potentially be exposed to are limited to the categories listed on the form (i.e. antimicrobials, refrigerants, sanitizers and CO2 from dry ice). The FLS or designee is to contact the Occupational Safety and Health Specialist for the District if there are concerns about potential exposure to another type of chemical (not listed on the form) at the establishment.
B. Per OSHA requirements for chemical information and multi-employer worksites found in 29 CFR 1910.1200(e), establishment management is to provide a list of chemicals to which IPP could be exposed to the FLS or designee upon request. The FLS or designee is to work with establishment management to ensure the chemical list is updated when new chemicals are added or old chemicals are no longer in use in accordance with OSHA information and training requirements found in 29 CFR 1910.1200(h)(1).
C. If hazardous chemicals are acquired by the Agency and stored in the USDA office, the FLS or designee is to inform establishment management. For example, formalin is found in the kit supplied by the FSIS Eastern Laboratory for the collection of pathology samples in some establishments. Each chemical is to be listed on FSIS Form 4791-35 using the same name as the “product identifier” (e.g., the product name, common name, or chemical name) that appears on the label and SDS of the hazardous chemical.
D. The FLS or designee is to update the Occupant Emergency Plan FSIS Form 4791-21 with information about any monitoring systems used by the establishment to detect the presence or release of a hazardous chemical in the work place that IPP could potentially be exposed to. The form is to also include emergency procedures to be followed by IPP in the event of a chemical release.
E. Under the authority provided by the Act Section 19 and the subsequent regulations found in 29 CFR 1910.1200, as noted above in this section, as well as E.O. 12196, the FLS or designee is authorized to address the issue with the establishment in the weekly meeting if the list of chemicals is not provided. If the issue is not resolved after meeting, Form 4791-22 “Notice of Unsafe or Unhealthful Working Conditions” is to be used to document the issue and the FLS or designee is to notify the establishment in writing of the need for resolution.
VII. IDENTIFICATION OF CONTAINERS WITH HAZARDOUS CHEMICALS
A. The FLS or designee is to annually ensure that establishment management has properly labeled all hazardous chemical containers found in areas inspected by FSIS IPP according to OSHA requirements found in 29 CFR 1910.1200(f)(1), (f)(6) and (f)(10).
B. The FLS or designee is to ensure that all hazardous chemical containers brought into the workplace by FSIS are properly labeled according to OSHA requirements.
C. Per OSHA regulations found in 29 CFR 1910.1200(f)(6), chemical container labels are, at a minimum, to contain general information regarding the hazards of the chemicals including a product identifier, an appropriate signal word, hazard statements, pictograms, precautionary statements and the name, address, and telephone number of the chemical manufacturer, importer, or other responsible party. Pictograms, as required by OSHA regulations in 29 CFR 1910.1200 Appendix C, used for chemical container labels are depicted in Attachment 1.
D. Per OSHA regulations found in 29 CFR 1910.1200(f)(8), small quantities of chemicals intended for immediate use may be placed in a container that is only marked with the contents (not a complete label) provided that the individual keeps it in their possession at all times and the product is used up during the work shift or properly disposed of at the end of the work day.
E. Per OSHA regulations found in 29 CFR 1910.1200(f)(7) (labeling of process containers), chemical delivery systems (e.g. hoses used to supply sanitizing chemicals) found on the kill floor or other areas where IPP could potentially be exposed are to be labeled by the establishment with the identity of the chemical.
F. Under the authority provided by the Act of Section 19 and the subsequent regulations found in 29 CFR 1910.1200, as noted above in this section, as well as E.O. 12196, the FLS or designee is authorized to address the issue with the establishment in the weekly meeting if chemical containers are not properly identified. If the issue is not resolved after meeting, Form 4791-22 “Notice of Unsafe or Unhealthful Working Conditions” is to be used to document the issue and the FLS or designee is to notify the establishment in writing of the need for resolution.
VIII. SDS (FORMERLY KNOWN AS MATERIAL SAFETY DATA SHEETS)
A. Per OSHA regulations found in 29 CFR 1910.1200(g), an SDS is to be available for each chemical found on FSIS form 4791-35. The FLS or designee is to identify the location of the establishment SDS library on FSIS form 4791-35. The SDS is to be in a uniform format and contain all 16 sections as specified in 29 CFR 1910.1200(g).
B. An SDS is to be available for each chemical brought into the USDA office by FSIS. The FLS or designee is to acquire and maintain an SDS for each hazardous chemical brought into the workplace by FSIS. An SDS is available, upon request, from FSIS laboratories for all chemicals found in the pathology kits supplied to the field for sample acquisition. The SDS for chemicals found in the pathology kit can also be found on the FSIS Safety intranet site found at: Inside FSIS Environmental, Safety and Health Topics under “Safety Data Sheets” (Level 2 eAuthentication is needed to access this site). For questions about obtaining an SDS for any other chemical, contact the Occupational Safety and Health Specialist for the District.
C. Per OSHA regulation 29 CFR 1910.1200(e)(2) and (h)(1), establishment management is to notify FSIS when new chemicals that IPP could be exposed to are introduced into the plant. An SDS for all hazardous chemicals that IPP could be exposed to is to be made available to the FLS or designee before the chemical is used at the establishment.
D. The FLS or designee is to ensure that IPP receive training, as described below in section IX, about the new chemical through reading the SDS, appropriate Health Hazard Information Sheet (HHIS), if available, and any additional employee safety information provided by the establishment or manufacturer.
E. Per the OSH Act of 1970 Section 19 and the subsequent regulations found in 29 CFR 1910.1200(g)(1) and (g)(8), as well as Executive Order 12196, IPP are to have unrestricted access to the establishment SDS library during the work shift. Information about how FSIS IPP can access the SDS library is to be recorded on FSIS Form 4791-35.
F. Establishment management is to have access to the SDS for all hazardous chemicals found in the USDA office.
G. Per the Act Section 19 and the subsequent regulations found in 29 CFR 1910.1020(d)(1)(ii), as well as E.O. 12196, exposure records are to be maintained for 30 years. This only includes exposure data that was provided to IPP such as workplace environmental monitoring or measuring and SDS (and previous Material Safety Data Sheets) that have been used at the establishment for substances to which IPP could have been exposed.
H. Under the authority provided by the Act Section 19 and the subsequent regulations found in 29 CFR 1910.1200, as noted above in this section, as well as E.O. 12196, the FLS or designee is authorized to address the issue with the establishment in the weekly meeting if SDS are not available. If the issue is not resolved after meeting, Form 4791-22, Notice of Unsafe or Unhealthful Working Conditions is to be used to document the issue and the FLS or designee is to notify the establishment in writing of the need for resolution.
A. All newly hired IPP are to receive training about the OSHA requirements found in the Hazard Communication Standard 29 CFR 1910.1200 during the onboarding process.
- New employee training is to be completed during onboarding by watching the video called “HazCom: What You need to Know (incl. GHS provisions)”. Information about accessing the online video is available from the Inside FSIS safety website (Level 2 eAuthentication is needed to access this site).
- New employees are also to read this directive during the onboarding process.
B. The FLS or designee is to ensure that IPP receive site specific hazard communication training at the time of their initial assignment to an establishment where they may be exposed to hazardous chemicals.
C. HHIS are training documents developed by the FSIS Environmental Safety and Health Group (ESHG) for some of the specific chemical and biological hazards commonly found in meat, poultry, and egg product plants. The HHIS provides information on how IPP may potentially be exposed in the workplace, the health effects of exposure, workplace monitoring, and safety precautions and control measures specific to reducing exposure to the hazard.
D. IPP are to familiarize themselves with site specific items described below.
- Review of completed FSIS Form 4791-35;
- Review of relevant Health Hazard Information Sheets (if available); and
- Review of SDS.
E. The FLS or designee is to ensure all IPP receive training whenever a new chemical hazard, for which employees have not previously received training, is introduced to the workplace. Training for new chemicals can be completed by:
- Reviewing the SDS; or
- Reading a HHIS (if one is available for the chemical in question).
F. Annual refresher training is not required.
G. HHIS are designed to provide more information about the hazards of chemical exposure than is typically available on a SDS. HHIS are used to train IPP about the hazards of chemical exposure instead of a SDS when they are available. When the HHIS is used for training, IPP should be aware of the product name that corresponds to the chemical name. For example, a SDS may list a product name as “Chemtox” but the chemical name (and corresponding HHIS) is peracetic acid. Some topics for which Health Hazard Information Sheets have been developed are: Peroxyacetic Acid (aka Peracetic Acid or PAA), Carbon Dioxide, Ammonia and Chlorine. HHIS are available for download from the Inside FSIS safety website at: Environmental, Safety and Health Topics.
H. All hazard communication training is to be recorded in AgLearn by using the attestation page called, “FSIS-Hazard Communication Information Attestation”.
I. Per OSHA regulation 29 CFR 1910.1200(e)(1)(ii), establishment management is to inform the FLS or designee when non-routine activities (e.g., facility repairs, construction) are to take place that could introduce potential chemical hazards into the workplace. Establishment management will inform the FLS or designee of protective measures that are in place to ensure IPP are not exposed to hazardous chemicals associated with non-routine tasks.
X. ANNUAL EVALUATION
The FLS or designee is to review the local HCP once per calendar year. The results of the review will be recorded on FSIS Form 4791-24 “Safety and Health Inspection Checklist – Plant Facilities.”
For more information about the HCP contact the Occupational Safety and Health Specialist for your district. Contact information can be found on the public FSIS safety site at: https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/informational/aboutfsis/audience-employees/employee-safety