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OSHA Audit Checklists - Hazardous Substances

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Written by Steve Hudgik

The following provides three OSHA Audit Checklists related to hazardous substances. These OSHA Audit Checklists help you to be in compliance with OSHA standards and be prepared for an OSHA inspection. All three OSHA Audit Checklists below are based on OSHA recommended checklists.

The three OSHA Audit Checklists provided here are:

  1. Hazardous Substances Communication
  2. Control Of Hazardous Substances By Ventilation
  3. Fueling Checklist

These OSHA Audit Checklists can give you some indication of whether your facility is in compliance with OSHA standards. They will also guide you as to where to begin taking action to make your workplace safer and more healthier. These are by no means all-inclusive checklists, nor are they the only checklists you should be using. However, they provide a starting point. Please note that not everything on these checklists may apply to your workplace. Plus there may be items you need to add to the checklists. Remember that a checklist is a tool to help you. It is not a definitive statement of what is mandatory. Use these OSHA Audit Checklists only for guidance:

The inspections using these OSHA Audit Checklists should be conducted by people qualified to recognize deficiencies or problems in the areas being inspected. These may be your own in-house staff or third party experts.

Periodic self-inspections are essential if you are to know where probable hazards exist and whether they are under control. The most widely accepted way to identify hazards is to physically conduct safety and health inspections. The only way to be certain of what is actually going on is to go out and look from time to time.

OSHA Audit Checklist - Hazardous Substances Communication

OSHA standard 1910.1200 requires that the hazards of all chemicals produced or imported are evaluated, and that information concerning their hazards is provided to employers and employees. This transmittal of information is to be accomplished by means of comprehensive hazard communication programs, which are to include container labeling and other forms of warnings, material safety data sheets, and employee training. Periodic inspections should be conducted to ensure compliance with 1910.1200 and identify any problem areas.

The following OSHA Audit Checklist is used to evaluate your overall hazard communication program. You may also need to have OSHA Audit Checklists for specific departments or work areas within your facility.

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□ Is there a list of hazardous substances used in your workplace? Is an MSDS readily available for each hazardous substance used in your workplace?

□ Where applicable, is there a current written exposure control plan for occupational exposure to bloodborne pathogens and other potentially infectious materials?

□ Is there a written hazard communication program dealing with MSDSs, RTK labeling and employee training?

□ Is each container for a hazardous substance (i.e., tubes, bottles, vats, storage tanks, etc.) labeled with an RTK label?

□ Is there an employee training program for hazardous substances that includes:

  • an explanation of what an MSDS is, how obtain one, and how to read and use an MSDS
  • explanations of MSDS contents for each hazardous substance or class of substances
  • explanation of "A Right to Know"
  • identification of where an employee can see the written hazard communication program
  • the location of physical and health hazards in particular work areas and the specific protective measures to be used for each type of hazard
  • details of the hazard communication program, including how to use the RTK labeling system and read MSDSs.

□ Does the employee training program on the bloodborne pathogens standard include the following components:

  • an accessible copy of the standard and an explanation of its contents
  • a general explanation of the epidemiology and symptoms of bloodborne diseases
  • an explanation of the modes of transmission of Bloodborne Pathogens
  • an explanation of the your exposure control plan and the means by which employees can obtain a copy of the written plan
  • an explanation of the appropriate methods for recognizing tasks and the other activities that may involve exposure to blood and other potentially infectious materials
  • an explanation of the use and limitations of methods that will prevent or reduce exposure, including appropriate engineering controls, work practices and PPE
  • information on the types, proper use, location, removal, handling, decontamination and disposal of PPE
  • an explanation of the basis for selection of PPE
  • information on the hepatitis B vaccine
  • information on the appropriate actions to take, and persons to contact in an emergency involving blood or other potentially infectious materials
  • an explanation of the procedure to follow if an exposure incident occurs, including the methods of reporting the incident and the medical follow-up that will be made available
  • information on post-exposure evaluations and follow-up
  • an explanation of signs, labels and color coding.

□ Are employees trained in:

  • how to recognize tasks that might result in occupational exposure to a hazardous material
  • how to use work practice, engineering controls and PPE, and their limitations
  • how to obtain information on the types, selection, proper use, location, removal, handling, decontamination and disposal of PPE
  • who to contact and what to do in an emergency.

OSHA Audit Checklist - Control Of Hazardous Substances By Ventilation

This OSHA Audit Checklist applies to your overall ventilation program. In some cases it may be appropriate to have more specific checklists that are used for inspecting specific areas.

□ Are ventilated areas clearly marked with signs? Are instructions for ventilation requirements and use clearly posted?

□ Is the volume and velocity of air in each exhaust system sufficient to gather the dusts, fumes, mists, vapors, or gases to be controlled, and to convey them to a suitable point of disposal?

□ Are exhaust inlets, ducts and plenums designed, constructed and supported to prevent collapse or failure of any part of the system?

□ Are clean-out ports or doors provided at intervals not to exceed 12 feet (3.6576 meters) in all horizontal runs of exhaust ducts?

□ Where two or more different operations are being controlled through the same exhaust system, could the combination of substances involved create a fire, explosion, or chemical reaction hazard in the duct?

□ Is adequate makeup air provided to areas where exhaust systems are operating?

□ Is the source point for makeup air located so that only clean, fresh air, free of contaminants will enter the ventilated area?

□ Where two or more ventilation systems serve a work area, is their operation such that one will not offset the functions of the other?

OSHA Audit Checklist - Fueling Checklist

□ Are employees prohibited from fueling an internal combustion engine with a flammable liquid while the engine is running?  Are warning and fueling procedure signs posted?

□ Are fueling operations performed to minimize spillage?

□ When spillage occurs during fueling operations, is the spilled fuel washed away completely, evaporated, or are other measures taken to control vapors before restarting the engine? Are signs posted providing instructions describing what to do in case of a spill?

□ Are fuel tank caps replaced and secured before starting the engine?

□ In fueling operations, is there always metal contact between the container and the fuel tank?

□ Are fueling hoses designed to handle the specific type of fuel?

□ Are employees prohibited from handling or transferring gasoline in open containers?  Is this communicated using warning signs?

□ Are open lights, open flames, sparking, or arcing equipment prohibited near fueling or transfer of fuel operations?  Are warning signs posted?

□ Is smoking prohibited in the vicinity of fueling operations?  Is the area posted with no smoking signs?

□ Are fueling operations prohibited in buildings or other enclosed areas that are not specifically ventilated for this purpose?  Are appropriate signs posted?

□ Where fueling or transfer of fuel is done through a gravity flow system, are the nozzles self-closing?

The use and handling of hazardous substances presents many risks to employees, and sometimes surrounding communities.  The use of appropriate signs and labels is an important part of your hazardous substance safety and health program, and a DuraLabel printer is an important tool for making those signs and labels.  Call 1-888-326-9244 and ask about DuraLabel kits for making RTK labels and OSHA safety signs. 

The information presented in this document was obtained from sources that we deem reliable; Graphic Products does not guarantee accuracy or completeness. Graphic Products, Inc. makes no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied. Users of this document should consult municipal, state, and federal code and/or verify all information with the appropriate regulatory agency.

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