On March 26, 2012, the U.S. Department of Labor released a final rule revising the OSHA Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) that involves new compliance requirements for employers, including builders, apartment owners and managers.
The HCS requires all employers that use hazardous or toxic chemicals on their sites to label such products, maintain safety data sheets and conduct employee training. In apartment properties, commonly used operations and maintenance products like paints, adhesives, solvents and pool chemicals can trigger HCS compliance requirements.
The new requirements do not significantly expand existing requirements for apartment firms. However, employers must take several steps to comply with the new standard including training employees to familiarize them with the new label elements and safety data sheet format by December 1, 2013, and updating workplace labeling and hazard communication programs by June 1, 2016.
Complete information about the new HCS, including answers to frequently asked questions, is available at OSHA's Hazard Compliance web site.