Purpose:

To make all UMF employees aware of the chemicals, which have become a necessary part of many work environments, and to help employees get a better understanding of how to properly handle those chemicals. This programs intent is to prevent injuries and maintain a safe work environment.

Definition of Hazardous Communication:

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) first established the Hazardous Communication Standard, or the Right-to-Know Law in November of 1983. The hole function of Hazardous Communication is to identify all chemicals in the workplace, and evaluate them for safe handling. This information is to be made available to employers as well as employees by way of a Hazardous Communications program, chemical and, or container labeling, material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS), and employee training. The Hazard Communication (Right-to-Know) standard (29 CFR 1910.1200) has six categories:

1) Hazard Determination: (29 CFR 1910.1200 (d)).

2) Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS): (29 CFR 1910.1200 (d)).

3) Chemical Labeling: (29 CFR 1910.1200 (d)).

4) Employee Training: (29 CFR 1910.1200 (d)).

5) The Written Program: (29 CFR 1910.1200 (d)).

6) Trade Secrets: (29 CFR 1910.1200 (d)).

Please refer to the Hazard Communication Standard (29 CFR 1910.1200) for the specifics of the above listed categories located at Facilities Management.

Hazards:

As employees it is your right to have information made available to you concerning the chemicals in the work place. But, the program is only as good as the employees knowledge of its components: hazard evaluation, warning labels, MSDS’s, employee training, and a written program. Failure to comply with the standard can result in unnecessary injuries to employees. Exposure to chemicals from mishandling can cause a variety of illnesses, and in some cases death. For this reason it is vitally important to be aware of all chemicals in the work place.

Precautions:

It is the employers responsibility to update the Comprehensive Hazcom program when needed. It is the employees responsibility to use the program effectively. A good understanding and effective use of the program by employees is all they will need to prevent injuries and work place illnesses related to chemical exposure.

Those at Risk:

Custodians, laboratory personal, maintenance personnel, contracted services, such as; plumbers, carpenters, welders, electricians, masons, inspectors, or any personnel who have the risk of exposure to chemicals in the work place.

References:

The Hazard Communication (Right-to-Know) standard, 29 CFR 1910.1200.