Hi, and welcome to the course.
This course is designed to help you understand the fundamentals of occupational safety and health, and how you can be an proactive member of your
workplace safety program.
Here's how the course works:
Study each course module. To start, click on the course "Modules" tab above. On average, it takes about 30 minutes
to one hour to complete each module, including the module quiz. Take your time and make sure you understand the course material.
Complete each module quiz. At the end of each module is a short quiz with questions related to the module. When you
submit the quiz, a page will load with instant feedback on your answers. After you complete the quiz, start on the next module. Remember, you control the pace of learning.
If you have questions about the course materialas as you study, just send us an email. We are here to help!
Sample Certificate (Click to enlarge)
Order an Optional Certificate. If you want certification of your training, order a high quality certificate.
Our training is free. We only charge a small fee to provide documentation of your training. If you are enrolled in one of our professional safety and health programs,
you can save money by purchasing the program package that fits your needs. If you just want to purchase the certificate for this course, a link will be provided on
your student dashboard after you pass the final exam. Just click on the "Purchase Certificate" Link.
For individual courses, the PDF certificate is only $13, the original certificate is $17 (shipping extra), and the PDF & original certificate is $22 (shipping extra).
Complete and submit the final course exam.
Final exams consist of 20 questions taken from the course.
The exam is OPEN BOOK. You can use your notes or the study guide to help answer questions you are unsure of.
You must pass the final exam with at least an 70% score.
If you do not pass the exam, you may retake the exam.
If you pass the exam, you may not retake the exam just to raise your score.
Hint: Most final exam questions are derived from module quizzes.
Introduction: The Numbers
Overview of the Globaly Harmonized System (GHS)
More than 30 million workers are potentially exposed to one or more chemical hazards. There are an estimated 650,000 existing hazardous chemical products, and hundreds of new ones are being
introduced annually. This poses a serious problem for exposed workers and their employers.
The OSHA Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) - 29 CFR 1910.1200 provides workers exposed to hazardous chemicals with the right-to-know the identities and hazards of those materials, as
well as appropriate protective measures. When workers have such information, they are able to take steps to protect themselves from experiencing adverse effects from exposure.
It's important that you be familiar with OSHA's hazard communication standards to help save lives and avoid OSHA citations.
Take a look at OSHA's top 10 most cited violations for 2009 and you will see that hazard communication ranks as the third most commonly cited violation!
Employers must provide employees with effective information and training on hazardous chemicals in their work area. (Click to enlarge)
Scaffolding, General - 9,093 violations
Fall Protection - 6,771 violations
Hazard Communication - 6,378 violations
Respiratory Protection - 3,803 violations
Lockout/Tagout - 3,321 violations
Electrical, Wiring - 3,079 violations
Ladders - 3,072 violations
Powered Industrial Trucks - 2,993 violations
Electrical, General - 2,556 violations
Machine Guarding - 2,364 violations
Protection under the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) includes all workers exposed to hazardous chemicals in all industrial sectors. This standard is based on a simple concept - that
employees have both a need and a right to know the hazards and the identities of the chemicals they are exposed to when working. They also need to know what protective measures are available
to prevent adverse effects from occurring.
The HCS covers both physical hazards (such as flammability or the potential for explosions), and health hazards (including both acute and chronic effects). By making information available to
employers and employees about these hazards, and recommended precautions for safe use, proper implementation of the HCS will result in a reduction of illnesses and injuries caused by chemicals.
Employers will have the information they need to design an appropriate protective program. Employees will be better able to participate in these programs effectively when they understand the
hazards involved, and take steps to protect themselves. Together, these employer and employee actions will prevent the occurrence of adverse effects caused by the use of chemicals in the workplace.
The HCS established uniform requirements to make sure the hazards of all chemicals imported into, produced, or used in U.S. workplaces are evaluated and that this hazard information is
transmitted to affected employers and exposed employees.
This program ensures that all employers receive the information they need to inform and train their employees properly and to design and put in place employee protection programs. It
also provides necessary hazard information to employees so they can participate in, and support, the protective measures in place at their workplaces.
All workplaces where employees are exposed to hazardous chemicals must have a written plan which describes how the standard will be implemented in that facility. The only work operations
which do not have to comply with the written plan requirements are laboratories and work operations where employees only handle chemicals in sealed containers.
The written program must reflect what employees are doing in a particular workplace. For example, the written plan must list the chemicals present at the site, indicate who is responsible
for the various aspects of the program in that facility and where written materials will be made available to employees.
The written program must describe how the requirements for labels and other forms of warning, material safety data sheets, and employee information and training are going to be met in the facility.
This course will focus on the responsibilities of the employer in establishing and implementing an effective hazard communication program. By the end of this course you should be able to:
List the primary Hazard Communications Standard responsibilities for manufacturers, distributors, importers, and employers.
Describe the four basic elements of the Hazard Communications Program.
Discuss the nature of chemical hazards and the types of exposures they present.
List the information required on each of the four types of hazardous chemical containers.
Describe each of the 12 required sections of a Material Safety Data Sheet.
Identify the basic requirements of the hazard communication training program.
To begin your training, click on the module links below. If you are just starting this course, you should start with module 1.
OSHAcademy course final exams are designed to help ensure students demonstrate a sufficient understanding of the
content covered within each course. To help demonstrate this understanding, students must achieve a minimum score of
70% on final exams. It is OSHAcademy's policy to protect the integrity of our exams and, as a result, we do not
provide missed questions to students.
After you have studied all of the course material and taken the module quizzes, you can take the final exam. The
module quizzes are optional, but we highly recommend you take each quiz, as the questions are similar to those on the
This is an open book exam. As you are taking the exam, if you find a question you are unsure of,
you should use the course study guide or course web pages to research the correct answer. Don't worry if you fail the
exam. You can study and retake the exam when you are ready.
If you have already paid for a Certificate Program
If you have already paid for your certificates, your exam score will be displayed in your student dashboard next
to the course. You will also be able to view or print the course PDF certificate if you purchased this option. Your
PDF transcript will also be automatically updated to include the course.
If you only want free training
You are welcome to take all of our courses for free! We only charge a fee if you want certificates, transcripts
and exam scores to document your training. If you have not made a payment for your certificate, we will archive your
exam results and you will see "Completed!" next to the course if you passed the exam. If you did not pass the exam
with a score of 70% or higher, you will need to retake the exam.
Take the Final Exam
705 Study Guide. You can save this study guide to your computer for offline studying, or
print the study guide if you prefer.
Aerosols means any non-refillable receptacles made of metal, glass or plastics and containing a gas compressed, liquefied or dissolved under pressure, with or without a liquid, paste or powder, and fitted with a release device allowing the contents to be ejected as solid or liquid particles in suspension in a gas, as a foam, paste or powder or in a liquid state or in a gaseous state. Aerosol includes aerosol dispensers.
Alloy means a metallic material, homogeneous the naked eye, consisting of two or more elements so combined that they cannot be readily separated by mechanical means. Alloys are considered to be mixtures for the purpose of classification under the GHS.
Aspiration means the entry of a liquid or solid chemical product into the trachea and lower respiratory system directly through the oral or nasal cavity, or indirectly from vomiting;
ASTM means the "American Society of Testing and Materials".
BCF means "bioconcentration factor".
BOD/COD means "biochemical oxygen demand/chemical oxygen demand".
CA means "competent authority".
Carcinogen means a chemical substance or a mixture of chemical substances which induce cancer or increase its incidence.
CAS means "Chemical Abstract Service".
CBI means "confidential business information".
Chemical identity means a name that will uniquely identify a chemical. This can be a name that is in accordance with the nomenclature systems of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) or the Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS), or a technical name.
Competent authority means any national body(ies) or authority(ies) designated or otherwise recognized as such in connection with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS).
Compressed gas means a gas which when packaged under pressure is entirely gaseous at -50°C; including all gases with a critical temperature £ -50°C.
Contact sensitizer means a substance that will induce an allergic response following skin contact. The definition for "contact sensitizer" is equivalent to "skin sensitizer".
Corrosive to metal means a substance or a mixture which by chemical action will materially damage, or even destroy, metals.
Criteria means the technical definition for the physical, health and environmental hazards;
Critical temperature means the temperature above which a pure gas cannot be liquefied, regardless of the degree of compression.
Dermal Corrosion: see skin corrosion;
Dermal irritation: see skin irritation.
Dissolved gas means a gas which when packaged under pressure is dissolved in a liquid phase solvent.
EC50 means the effective concentration of a substance that causes 50% of the maximum response.
EC Number or (ECN°) is a reference number used by the European Communities to identify dangerous substances, in particular those registered under EINECS.
ECOSOC means the "Economic and Social Council of the United Nations".
EINECS means "European Inventory of Existing Commercial Chemical Substances".
End Point means physical, health and environmental hazards;
ErC50 means EC50 in terms of reduction of growth rate.
EU means "European Union".
Explosive article means an article containing one or more explosive substances.
Explosive substance means a solid or liquid substance (or mixture of substances) which is in itself capable by chemical reaction of producing gas at such a temperature and pressure and at such a speed as to cause damage to the surroundings. Pyrotechnic substances are included even when they do not emit gases.
Eye irritation means the production of changes in the eye following the application of test substance to the front surface of the eye, which are fully reversible within 21 days of application.
Flammable gas means a gas having a flammable range with air at 20°C and a standard pressure of101.3kPa.
Flammable liquid means a liquid having a flash point of not more than 93°C.
Flammable solid means a solid which is readily combustible, or may cause or contribute to fire through friction.
Flash point means the lowest temperature (corrected to a standard pressure of 101.3 kPa) at which the application of an ignition source causes the vapors of a liquid to ignite under specified test conditions.
Gas means a substance which (i) at 50 °C has a vapor pressure greater than 300 kPa; or (ii) is completely gaseous at 20 °C at a standard pressure of 101.3 kPa.
GESAMP means "the Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection of IMO/FAO/UNESCO/WMO/WHO/IAEA/UN/UNEP."
GHS means "the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and # Labelling of Chemicals".
Hazard category means the division of criteria within each hazard class, e.g., oral acute toxicity includes five hazard categories and flammable liquids includes four hazard categories. These categories compare hazard severity within a hazard class and should not be taken as a comparison of hazard categories more generally.
Hazard class means the nature of the physical, health or environmental hazard, e.g., flammable solid carcinogen, oral acute toxicity.
Hazard statement means a statement assigned to a hazard class and category that describes the nature of the hazards of a hazardous product, including, where appropriate, the degree of hazard;
IARC means the "International Agency for the Research on Cancer".
ILO means the "International Labor Organization".
IMO means the "International Maritime Organization".
Initial boiling point means the temperature of a liquid at which its vapor pressure is equal to the standard pressure (101.3kPa), i.e., the first gas bubble appears.
IOMC means the "Inter-organization Program on the Sound Management of Chemicals".
IPCS means the "International Program on Chemical Safety".
ISO means International Standards Organization.
IUPAC means the "International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry".
Label means an appropriate group of written, printed or graphic information elements concerning a hazardous product, selected as relevant to the target sector(s), that is affixed to, printed on, or attached to the immediate container of a hazardous product, or to the outside packaging of a hazardous product.
Label element means one type of information that has been harmonized for use in a label, e.g., pictogram, signal word.
LC50 (50% lethal concentration) means the concentration of a chemical in air or of a chemical in water which causes the death of 50% (one-half) of a group of test animals.
LD50 means the amount of a chemical, given all at once, which causes the death of 50% (one half) of a group of test animals.
L(E)C50 means LC50 or EC50.
Liquefied gas means a gas which when packaged under pressure, is partially liquid at temperatures above-50°C. A distinction is made between.
High pressure liquefied gas: a gas with a critical temperature between -50°C and+65°C; and
Low pressure liquefied gas: a gas with a critical temperature above +65°C.
Liquid means a substance or mixture which at 50°C has a vapor pressure of not more than 300kPa (3bar), which is not completely gaseous at 20 °C and at a standard pressure of 101.3kPa, and which has a melting point or initial melting point of 20°C or less at a standard pressure of 101.3 kPa. A viscous substance or mixture for which a specific melting point cannot be determined shall be subjected to the ASTM D 4359-90 test; or to the test for determining fluidity (penetrometer test) prescribed in section 2.3.4 of Annex A of the European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road (ADR).
MARPOL means the "International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships".
Mixture means a mixture or a solution composed of two or more substances in which they do not react.
MSDS means "Material Safety Data Sheet" and in this document is used interchangeably with Safety Data Sheet (SDS).
Mutagen means an agent giving rise to an increased occurrence of mutations in populations of cells and /or organisms.
Mutation means a permanent change in the amount or structure of the genetic material in a cell;
NGO means "non-governmental organization".
NOEC means the "no observed effect concentration".
OECD means "The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development".
Organic peroxide means a liquid or solid organic substance which contains the bivalent -0-0- structure and may be considered a derivative of hydrogen peroxide, where one or both of the hydrogen atoms have been replaced by organic radicals. The term also includes organic peroxide formulation (mixtures).
Oxidizing gas means any gas which may, generally by providing oxygen, cause or contribute to the combustion of other material more than air does.
Oxidizing liquid means a liquid which, while in itself not necessarily combustible, may, generally by yielding oxygen, cause, or contribute to, the combustion of other material.
Oxidizing solid means a solid which, while in itself not necessarily combustible, may, generally by yielding oxygen, cause, or contribute to, the combustion of other material.
QSAR means "quantitative structure-activity relationships".
Pictogram means a graphical composition that may include a symbol plus other graphic elements, such as a border, background pattern or color that is intended to convey specific information.
Precautionary statement means a phrase (and/or pictogram) that describes recommended measures that should be taken to minimize or prevent adverse effects resulting from exposure to a hazardous product, or improper storage or handling of a hazardous product.
Product identifier means the name or number used for a hazardous product on a label or in the SDS. It provides a unique means by which the product user can identify the substance or mixture within the particular use setting (e.g. transport, consumer or workplace).
Pyrophoric liquid means a liquid which, even in small quantities, is liable to ignite within five minutes after coming into contact with air.
Pyrophoric solid means a solid which, even in small quantities, is liable to ignite within five minutes after coming into contact with air.
Pyrotechnic article means an article containing one or more pyrotechnic substances;
Pyrotechnic substance means a substance or mixture of substances designed to produce an effect by heat, light, sound, gas or smoke or a combination of these as the result of non-detonative, self-sustaining exothermic (heat-related) chemical reactions.
Readily combustible solid means powdered, granular, or pasty substance or mixture which is dangerous if it can be easily ignited by brief contact with an ignition source, such as a burning match, and if the flame spreads rapidly.
Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods, Manual of Tests and Criteria means the latest revised edition of the United Nations publication bearing this title, and any published amendment thereto.
Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods, Model Regulations means the latest revised edition of the United Nations publication bearing this title, and any published amendment thereto.
Refrigerated liquefied gas means a gas which when packaged is made partially liquid because of its low temperature.
Respiratory sensitizer means a substance that induces hypersensitivity of the airways following inhalation of the substance.
RID means The Regulations concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Rail [Annex 1 to Appendix B (Uniform Rules concerning the Contract for International Carriage of Goods by Rail) (CIM) of COTIF (Convention concerning international carriage by rail)], as amended.
SAR means "Structure Activity Relationship".
SDS means "Safety Data Sheet" and in this document is used interchangeably with Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS).
Self-Accelerating Decomposition Temperature (SADT) means the lowest temperature at which self-accelerating decomposition may occur with substance as packaged.
Self-heating substance means a solid or liquid substance, other than a pyrophoric substance, which, by reaction with air and without energy supply, is liable to self-heat; this substance differs from a pyrophoric substance in that it will ignite only when in large amounts (kilograms) and after long periods of time (hours or days).
Self-reactive substance means a thermally unstable liquid or solid substance liable to undergo a strongly exothermic decomposition even without participation of oxygen (air). This definition excludes substances or mixtures classified under the GHS as explosive, organic peroxides or as oxidizing.
Serious eye damage means the production of tissue damage in the eye, or serious physical decay of vision, following application of a test substance to the front surface of the eye, which is not fully reversible within 21 days of application.
Signal word means a word used to indicate the relative level of severity of hazard and alert the reader to a potential hazard on the label. The GHS uses 'Danger' and 'Warning' as signal words.
Skin corrosion means the production of irreversible damage to the skin following the application of a test substance for up to 4 hours.
Skin irritation means the production of reversible damage to the skin following the application of a test substance for up to 4 hours.
Skin sensitizer means a substance that will induce an allergic response following skin contact. The definition for "skin sensitizer" is equivalent to "contact sensitizer".
Solid means a substance or mixture which does not meet the definitions of a liquid or gas.
SPR means "Structure Property Relationship".
Substance means chemical elements and their compounds in the natural state or obtained by any production process, including any additive necessary to preserve the stability of the product and any impurities deriving from the process used, but excluding any solvent which may be separated without affecting the stability of the substance or changing its composition.
Substance which, in contact with water, emits flammable gases means a solid or liquid substance or mixture which, by interaction with water, is liable to become spontaneously flammable or to give off flammable gases in dangerous quantities.
Supplemental label element means any additional non-harmonized type of information supplied on the container of a hazardous product that is not required or specified under the GHS. In some cases this information may be required by other competent authorities or it may be additional information provided at the discretion of the manufacturer/distributor.
Symbol means a graphical element intended to succinctly convey information.
Technical name means a name that is generally used in commerce, regulations and codes to identify a substance or mixture, other than the IUPAC or CAS name, and that is recognized by the scientific community. Examples of technical names include those used for complex mixtures (e.g., petroleum fractions or natural products), pesticides (e.g., ISO or ANSI systems), dyestuffs (Color Index system) and minerals.
UNCED means the "United Nations Conference on Environment and Development".
UNCETDG/GHS means the "United Nations Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods and on the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals".
UNITARmeans the "United Nations Institute for Training and Research";
UNSCEGHS means the "United Nations Sub-Committee of Experts on the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals".
UNSCETDG means the "United Nations Sub-Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods".