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RegSenseSafety & HealthGeneral Industry SafetyBest ResultsOccupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), DOLFAQHazard CommunicationHazard CommunicationEnglishFocus AreaUSA
How does OSHA determine if a product is a consumer product?
The Hazard Communication standard, at 1910.1200(b)(6)(ix), exempts “consumer products” from coverage under the HazCom standard. The term "consumer product" means any article, or component part thereof, produced or distributed (i) for sale to a consumer for use in or around a permanent or temporary household or residence, a school, in recreation, or otherwise, or (ii) for the personal use, consumption or enjoyment of a consumer in or around a permanent or temporary household or residence, a school, in recreation, or otherwise (15 U.S.C.A. 2052)).
OSHA will not issue citations for consumer products unless the compliance officer can show that the product was used in the workplace in a manner not intended by the manufacturer or the frequency and duration of use results in exposures that are significantly greater than those experienced by a normal consumer.
In CPL 02-02-079 - Inspection Procedures for the Hazard Communication Standard, OSHA instructs compliance officers to look for the following:
- What establishes the chemical as a consumer product? (For instance, was the container label subject to the Consumer Product Safety Act provisions?)
- What hazards does use of the product expose employees to?
- Is the product included in the employer's hazardous chemical inventory?
- What is the duration of use of the product, i.e., for what period of time did the employees use the chemical during the workshift and workweek? (Did it greatly exceed normal or expected use by a consumer?)
- Was the frequency of employee use significantly greater than that of a normal consumer?
- How was the product used and in what amounts?
- Was the product used in the workplace for the purpose intended by the manufacturer?
The compliance officer would consider all of these questions to make sure that chemicals the employer considers to be “consumer products” are, in fact, consumer products under the HazCom standard’s definition.
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