We're sorry, but OSHAcademy doesn't work properly without JavaScript enabled. Please turn on JavaScript or install a browser that supports Javascript.

105 Hazard Communication: Basic
Skip to main content


More than 30 million workers are at risk of exposure to one or more chemical hazards. An estimated 650,000 existing hazardous chemical products and hundreds of new ones are being introduced annually. This poses a serious challenge for employers as well as a health and safety hazard for exposed employees.

Because of the seriousness of these safety and health problems, and given the lack of awareness among many employers and employees, OSHA issued the original Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) in 1994. The basic goal of the standard is to ensure employers and employees know about work hazards and how to protect themselves; this aims to reduce the incidence of illnesses and injuries from chemical sources. Hazard Communication is always in OSHA's Top Ten Cited Standards and consistently ranks at or near the top each year.

In March 2012, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) revised its Hazard Communication Standard to align it with the United Nations Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS).

This course will discuss OSHA's Hazard Communication Standard and how employees can protect themselves from the dangers of hazardous chemicals in their work environment.

Course Objectives

At the end of this course, you should be able to:
ID Objective
TO 1.0 Achieve a minimum score of 70% on the final course assessment.
LO 1.1.1 Describe and explain the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) and Globally Harmonized System (GHS).
LO 1.1.2 Define "hazardous substance" and give examples of physical and health hazards.
LO 1.1.3 Describe the various forms of hazardous chemicals.
LO 1.1.4 List and give examples of the four primary routes of entry.
LO 1.1.5 Describe the four types of containers and their labels.
LO 1.1.6 Identify the six levels of the Hierarchy of Controls.
LO 1.1.7 Give examples of the four types of chemical containers and labeling requirements.
LO 1.1.8 Identify the meaning of each of the nine HCS 2012 pictograms.
LO 1.1.9 Identify and explain the requirements of the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS).
LO 1.2.1 Discuss the purpose and major sections of the safety data sheet (SDS).
LO 1.2.2 Describe the requirements for hazard communication program employee training.

Key: Terminal Objective (TO), Learning Objective (LO)