PennTAP training works to prevent chemical injuries in the workplace

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Any organization that handles, uses or stores hazardous chemicals  -- from nail salons and funeral homes to contractors and manufacturers -- must comply with the latest version of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Hazard Communication Standard or the company risks employee injury and/or OSHA citation. OSHA reports that 43 million workers in more than 5 million workplaces across the country deal with hazardous chemicals and could benefit from training to understand the new rules of compliance.

The Pennsylvania Technical Assistance Program (PennTAP) at Penn State University will soon offer specialized training for any business that needs to be current with this new standard, HazCom 2012.

This training is tailored for front-line supervisors, management, safety committee members and interested employees. Participants will learn how to read labels and safety data sheets under the new format so they can properly manage chemical materials within the workplace and train their employees to understand the new labeling and Safety Data Sheet system.

The new HazCom changes bring the United States into alignment with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS), which is expected to prevent injuries and illnesses, save lives and improve trade conditions for chemical manufacturers. This new OSHA standard is designed to improve safety and health for America’s workers and could prevent more than 500 workplace injuries, illnesses and fatalities per year.

PennTAP will offer training on GHS under the HazCom 2012 standard at the following locations:

-- Penn State DuBois: Wednesday, April 9 at 209 DEF Building, 1 College Place, DuBois

-- Penn State Erie, The Behrend College: Tuesday, April 8/Thursday, July 24 at the Merwin Building at Knowledge Park, Erie

-- Penn State Hazleton: Friday, March 28/Friday, July 11 at 103 Butler Seminar Room, Hazleton

-- Penn State University Park: Thursday, April 10/Friday, July 25 at 115 The 329 Building at Innovation Park, University Park

-- Penn State York: Thursday, April 17/Thursday, July 31 at the Conference Center, 1031 Edgecomb Ave., York    

All workshops are from 8 a.m. to noon. The cost is $99 per person, $50 for Penn State alumni and free to Penn State students.

PennTAP was one of 18 organizations across the nation that received the Susan Harwood Targeted Training Grant. The grant program supports in-person, hands-on training and educational opportunities for employers in a variety of health and safety topics. PennTAP is focusing on workers and employers in rural Pennsylvania. Each participant will receive an instructional kit for this training. Materials are available in English and Spanish.

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