Hazard Communication

Type: 
Procedure
Category: 
Health and Safety
Department: 
Facilities Management and Planning
Phone: 
(541) 463-5216
Primary Contact: 
Todd Smith
Contact Email: 
Responsible Executive Authority: 
Vice President, College Services
Purpose: 

This procedure is designed to protect college workers, students, work study students, and others from any undue exposure to a chemical used by the college that is defined as a physical or health hazard. It delineates the responsibilities of supervisors, instructors, staff, and the Facilities Management Department to evaluate and communicate regarding hazards. This procedure does not apply to tobacco, wood products, foods, drugs, cosmetics, or other items intended for personal consumption or use.
The Code of Federal Regulations "Hazard Communication" section (29CFR1910.1200), states: "the purpose of this section is to ensure that the hazards of all chemicals produced or imported are evaluated, and that information concerning their hazards is transmitted to employers and employees. This transmittal of information is to be accomplished by means of comprehensive hazard communication programs, which are to include container labeling and other forms of warning, material safety data sheets and employee training."

Narrative: 

General 

A hazard communication procedure is established in compliance with federal regulations found in "Hazard Communication" (29CFR1910.1200).  This procedure is designed to protect college workers, students, work study students, and others from any undue exposure to a chemical, used by the college that is defined as a health hazard as follows:

Physical Hazard 

Any chemical or substance that is a combustible liquid, compressed gas, explosive, flammable, organic peroxide, oxidizer, unstable (reactive) or water reactive.

Health Hazard  

Any chemical or substance that is proven to have an adverse health effect on vital body organs and systems of any human exposed to it.  This includes chemicals that are known carcinogens, toxic agents, irritants, corrosives, and sensitizers.

This procedure does not apply to tobacco, wood products, foods, drugs, cosmetics, or other items intended for personal consumption or use.

The procedure will meet code requirements by ensuring that all receptacles containing hazardous substances will be clearly and properly labeled, that material safety data sheets (MSDS) will be available to all employees in their respective work areas, that information and employee training on hazardous substances will be made available, and that outside contractors and their employees will be informed of the presence of any hazardous substance on campus that may be encountered in the performance of their work.

Container Labeling  

The administrator or manager responsible for any given college areas or departments will ensure that all chemical containers received for use are clearly labeled as to contents, exhibit appropriate hazard warnings, and list the name and address of the manufacturer.  No containers will be released for use until this data is verified.  Secondary containers not designated for immediate use will also be clearly labeled as to contents and hazard warnings but need not include information about the manufacturer.  Label ordering information is available from Facilities Management and Planning.

Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) 

Copies of MSDS, for all hazardous chemicals that employees may be exposed to, will be kept in all departmental offices.  The MSDS will be available to all employees for review during each work shift and copies may be obtained on request to the department manager or the employee's immediate supervisor.  A routinely updated master list also will be centrally maintained in Facilities Management and Planning with access available on request and by periodic printouts to departments and designated administrators.

Employee Training and Information 

The manager responsible for any given college area or department will be responsible for familiarizing each new employee on the correct methods of handling hazardous chemicals that may be a part of the employee's task.  This training will include the following: 

  1. A knowledge of hazardous substances present in the workplace, the physical and health effects of each, and safety emergency procedures to be followed if any undue exposure to them occurs;
  2. The location of MSDS within the worker's department or other areas where the worker may be assigned work;
  3. Methods and observation techniques used to determine the presence or release of hazardous substances in the workplace;
  4. Proper meaning of labels and MSDS to lessen the danger of exposure to hazardous substances in the workplace; and
  5. Proper work practices and protective safety measures to be followed in handling hazardous substances.

Each new employee will also be given the following written information:

  1. A copy of this procedure;
  2. A list of the hazardous substances and their locations within the employee's workplace; and
  3. An information manual on Hazard Communication Rules.

Student Training and Information 

The instructor is responsible for advising students on the nature of hazardous chemicals that may be used in the classroom.  Students should be made aware of this procedure and MSDS for chemical hazards in their classroom environment.

Hazardous Non-Routine Tasks  

Occasionally, some employees may be required to perform various non-routine tasks.  Before starting these tasks, each employee will be informed by the immediate supervisor about hazardous substances that may be present during these tasks.  This information will include the specific hazardous substance involved, proper handling procedures, and protective safety measures to be observed, plus other measures taken by the college to lessen these hazards (i.e., ventilation, respirators, emergency procedures, etc.)

Chemicals in Unlabeled Pipes 

Employees may sometimes perform tasks in areas where chemicals are transported through unlabeled pipes.  Before starting work in these areas, each employee will contact the immediate supervisor to determine the chemical agent in the pipe, its potential hazards, and safety precautions to be taken to avoid any undue exposure to the chemical.  Supervisors are equally responsible to provide this information on unlabeled chemical piping to their employees.

Informing Contractors 

Before work at the college is commenced by private contractors and their employees, the department manager will be responsible for providing the contractor with the following information on hazardous substances used by the college: 

  1. The type of hazardous substances that they may be exposed to while working at certain locations;
  2. Protective safety measures that may be taken to reduce exposure risks;
  3. Steps that the college has taken to reduce exposure risks;
  4. The location of MSDS for hazardous substances that they may be exposed to; and
  5. Procedures to follow in case of undue exposure to a hazardous substance.

For further information, call Facilities Management and Planning at (541) 463-5216.

Definitions: 

Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) - a document that contains information on the potential health effects of exposure to chemicals, or other potentially dangerous substances, and on safe working procedures when handling chemical products.

Date Adopted: 
Saturday, May 1, 1999
Date Last Reviewed: 
Tuesday, July 1, 2014