Small Business Self-Evaluation Checklist: Hazardous Substances

Hazardous substances are chemicals and other substances that can affect worker health. Examples include solvents, pesticides, paints, adhesives, petroleum products, heavy metals, or any other substance that is hazardous to health and is used or produced at work. Hazardous substances can take the form of liquids, solids, vapors, gases, fumes, or dusts. To be classified as a hazardous substance, the ingredients of the substance must be present in concentrations that are known to cause health effects. Where this is the case, the substance must be labeled to ensure that users know it is hazardous. It must also be accompanied by a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) setting out health effects, instructions for safe use and storage, and what to do in an emergency.

This “Client Handout” provides small business owners a means of identifying potential problem areas that may occur with hazardous substances. Any question answered “No” should be thoroughly investigated and corrective actions taken.

Questions Yes  No  N/A 
Are procedures and policies written that covers hazardous substances?      
Are workers trained in safe handling and use of hazardous substances?      
Is there a list of the hazardous substances used in the workplace?      
Is there a written hazard communication program dealing with Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS), labeling, employee training, and a MSDS for each hazardous substance?      
Is each container for a hazardous substance labeled with product identity and a hazard warning that provides information on the specific health hazards and physical hazards?      
Is there a current, written exposure control plan for occupational exposure to bloodborne pathogens and other potentially infectious materials?      
Are employees trained in and understand the concept of “Right to Know”?       
Are employees trained on the physical and health hazards of substances in the work area?       
Does the bloodborne pathogen training contain an accessible copy of the standard, an explanation of its contents, and an explanation of signs, labels, and color coding?      
Does bloodborne pathogen training contain explanations of the epidemiology, symptoms, and modes of transmission of bloodborne pathogens?      
Does the bloodborne pathogen training contain an explanation of how to recognize tasks and activities that may involve exposure to blood and other potentially infectious materials?      
Does the bloodborne pathogen training contain an explanation of the use and limitations of methods that will prevent or reduce exposure, including appropriate engineering controls, work practices, and personal protective equipment?      
Does the bloodborne pathogen training contain information on the types, use, location, removal, handling, decontamination, and disposal of personal protective equipment?      
Does the bloodborne pathogen training contain information on the hepatitis B vaccine?       
Does the bloodborne pathogen training contain information on the actions to take and persons to contact in an emergency involving blood or other potentially infectious material?      

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