Hazardous Materials

Hazardous materials (aka chemicals) are regulated primarily in the International Codes (Fire, Building, Mechanical) or by OSHA.  Some states, notably Oregon, Washington and California on the West coast, have adapted these Codes and standards to  specifically apply to the state – i.e., each of these states has it’s own version of the International Codes and each state has it’s own OSHA program.

Understanding the nuances and differences from state to state can be important when dealing with hazardous materials use or storage concerns.  In general, the Building, Fire and Mechanical Codes apply to building protection while the OSHA standards apply to worker safety.  There is overlap between the Codes and the OSHA standards – Codes also address occupant safety (exiting, ventilation, etc.) while OSHA standards often take into account facility construction features effecting workers.