Safety First Blog

Overcoming the Challenges of HazCom Standard Compliance

Posted by Laura Paxton on Mar 4, 2021 10:51:49 AM
Laura Paxton
Find me on:

You are most likely familiar with and may have struggled with OSHA’s Hazard Communication (HazCom) Plan standard. In fact, it ranks no. 2 on OSHA’s list of the “Top 10 Most Frequently Cited Standards” - meaning it’s vital to workplace safety but also challenging for organizations to comply with. 

USP <800> includes a HazCom requirement based on both NIOSH’s list of hazardous drugs (HDs) and OSHA’s much broader list of all hazardous chemicals that employees may be exposed to. However, the basic components that OSHA, NIOSH, and USP <800> require are the same for workplaces: 

  • Documentation of known HDs
  • Communication to employees about HD risks via Safety Data Sheets (SDS)
  • Labeling of HDs with chemical identity, warnings, manufacturer information
  • Employee training on exposure risks and safe handling

Where we’ve really seen healthcare providers struggle is the requirement around SDS. According to NIOSH, SDS on each hazardous chemical (or active ingredient in the case of healthcare) kept in the facility must be made readily accessible to employees. Many organizations still utilize print versions of SDS while others are able to compile a digital database. Both versions can still make it challenging for employees to access the HD information they need quickly. 

Simply documenting the risks posed by each active ingredient through the SDS can be challenging, because pharmacy directors find themselves having to log into each manufacturer site to gain access to the SDS they need. This can get tedious and time-consuming when you’re talking about hundreds of manufacturers.

In fact, we’ve seen pharmacy directors - who as you know are brilliant people with extensive experience and education serving critical roles within healthcare systems - resorting to Google searches for active ingredients in medications to include in their HazCom plan. 

That’s where digital databases play a major role not only in saving time but ensuring patient safety. Larger health systems can afford to pay for elaborate databases that collate this manufacturer HD information, however, smaller organizations struggle to meet the HazCom requirements for SDS while being held to the same standard.

One feature of Rpharmy’s Rhazdrugs solution is an SDS database with approximately 4,500 line items enabling facilities to customize their SDS database. We’ve taken the information from each manufacturer and assimilated it into one easy-to-use database that can help you cross the OSHA, NIOSH, and USP <800> HazCom standard compliance off your list and avoid costly fines for non-compliance.    

Learn more about how Rpharmy can put HD information at the point of care to protect healthcare workers while complying with the HazCom standard.

Topics: Rhazdrugs, Policy, USP <800>, Formweb

New Name

Same Company You Trust

Rpharmy has a suite of products to meet the diverse needs of our customers.

Request Demo

Subscribe to our blog!

Recent Posts