ACE USA, the U.S.-based retail operations of the ACE Group, today released an advisory discussing the challenges facing contractors as they work to understand and comply with OSHA’s revised Hazard Communications (HazCom) Standard. The Standard has been updated to more effectively classify hazardous chemicals and products, and to communicate the associated dangers using standardized label elements and safety data sheets. In accordance with the HazCom Standard, contractors must comply with new training requirements by December 1, 2013. The co-authors of “Contractors: Complying with OSHA’s New Hazard Communications Standard” are Allen Abrahamsen, Assistant Vice President and Safety Consultant, ESIS, Diana Eichfeld, Assistant Vice President, ACE Environmental Risk, and Frank Westfall, Vice President of ESIS Environmental Consulting. The advisory is part of a larger series of papers that ACE produces, which are designed to provide useful information on current insurance issues faced by businesses. “ACE is committed to addressing the unique risks inherent in the construction industry through our Construction Industry Practice. Our continued activities to implement underwriting expertise, engineering and claims management through research efforts further extends our ability to assist our customers in managing these complex risks,” said William P. Hazelton, ACE USA Construction Industry Practice. “The move to the new HazCom Standard brings the United States in line with a system being adopted globally,” remarked Mr. Abrahamsen. “This provides an opportunity for construction companies to enhance their safety, manage chemical and product spills, and strengthen their overall risk management strategy.” “In recent years, the construction industry has been faced with a number of economic challenges. Despite this downturn, contractors need to remain focused and vigilant about complying with any regulatory requirement, including OSHA’s revised HazCom Standard,” said Ms. Eichfeld. “The new training requirements also provide contractors with a prime opportunity to evaluate their overall insurance programs and to make sure they have appropriate insurance coverage for environmental exposures associated with the products they use.”
The paper explains the new HazCom Standard and summarizes steps construction companies can take to maintain compliance. Successful implementation of the requirements can also improve the company’s working understanding of hazards, resulting in savings from reduced injuries and increased productivity.“The new system is expected to deliver significant benefits,” added Mr. Westfall. “In addition to providing more clarity about the chemicals and products they use, these steps should prove valuable for construction companies in mitigating their chemical hazards and environmental exposures.” To access the report, please visit our website. The material presented in this report is not intended to provide legal or other expert advice. It is presented as informational only. Readers should consult legal counsel or other technical experts, as applicable, with any specific questions they may have. ESIS ®, Inc. (ESIS) is part of the ACE Group, providing claim and risk management services to a wide variety of commercial clients. Insurance is provided by insurers within the ACE Group. The product information contained herein is a summary only. ESIS Health, Safety, and Environmental Services (ESIS HSE) may be sold directly to ESIS’ clients or as part of insurance underwriting. Risk control activities conducted on behalf of the insurer are not intended as a direct benefit or service to ACE insureds. ACE USA is the U.S.-based retail operating division of the ACE Group, and is rated A+ (Superior) by A.M. Best Company and AA- (Very Strong) by Standard & Poor’s. ACE USA, through its underwriting companies, provides insurance products and services throughout the U.S. Additional information on ACE USA and its products and services can be found at www.aceusa.com. The ACE Group is one of the world’s largest multiline property and casualty insurers. With operations in 53 countries, ACE provides commercial and personal property and casualty insurance, personal accident supplemental health insurance, reinsurance, and life insurance to a diverse group of clients. ACE Limited, the parent company of the ACE Group, is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: ACE) and is a component of the S&P 500 index. Additional information can be found at: www.acegroup.com.