This section has been written in order to comply with the OSHA Hazard Communication Standard, Title 29 Code of Federal Regulations 1910.1200, and UOSH General Title 34 Chapter 6.
This program applies to departments with employees who may be exposed to hazardous substances under normal conditions or during an emergency situation. Such department shall keep a copy of this program for interested employees.
The Department Director is responsible for implementation of this program.
Under this program, hazardous chemical lists and Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) are compiled, containers are properly labeled, and training is provided to employees.
Hazardous Chemicals List
Each Department Director makes a list of hazardous chemicals used in the department, and updates it as necessary. This list is posted in a location where it will be likely for all department employees to see it. On the list, note that further information about each noted chemical may be obtained by reviewing the individual SDSs located within the department. The location of the SDSs is disclosed on the list.
Safety Data Sheets
SDSs provide specific information on chemicals used. Department Directors should ensure that each work site within their department maintains an SDS for hazardous materials in that area.
Department Directors are responsible for acquiring and updating SDSs for their departments. They should contact the chemical manufacturer or vendor if additional research is necessary or if an SDS has not been supplied with an initial shipment. Purchase bid specifications should require the provision of SDSs.
The Hazard Communication Standard requires that the information on the SDS is presented using consistent headings in a specified sequence. The format of the 16-section SDS should include the following sections:
Section 1. Identification
Section 2. Hazard(s) identification
Section 3. Composition/information on ingredients
Section 4. First-Aid measures
Section 5. Fire-fighting measures
Section 6. Accidental release measures
Section 7. Handling and storage
Section 8. Exposure controls/personal protection
Section 9. Physical and chemical properties
Section 10. Stability and reactivity
Section 11. Toxicological information
Section 12. Ecological information
Section 13. Disposal considerations
Section 14. Transport information
Section 15. Regulatory information
Section 16. Other information, including date of preparation or last revision
Threshold Limit Values (TLVs) on the safety data sheet (SDS) will provide employers and employees with useful information to help them assess the hazards presented by their workplaces. In addition to TLVs, OSHA permissible exposure limits (PELs), and any other exposure limit used or recommended by the chemical manufacturer, importer, or employer preparing the safety data sheet are also required.
If a chemical is listed as a carcinogen by either the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) or National Toxicology Program (NTP), it must be noted on the SDS.
The Hazard Communication Standard requires that Department Directors maintain copies of safety data sheets for each hazardous chemical used in the workplace for at least 30 years.
Department Directors ensure that hazardous chemicals in their department are properly labeled and updated, as necessary. Labels should at least show the chemical identity, appropriate hazard warnings, and the name of the manufacturer or other responsible party.
Labels will contain the following elements:
- Pictogram: a symbol plus other graphic elements, such as a border, background pattern, or color intended to convey specific information about the hazards of a chemical. Each pictogram consists of a different symbol on a white background within a red square frame set on a point (i.e. a red diamond).
- Signal words: a single word used to indicate the relative level of severity of hazard and alert the reader to a potential hazard on the label. The signal words used are "danger" and "warning." "Danger" is used for the more severe hazards, while "warning" is used for less severe hazards.
- Hazard Statement: a statement assigned to a hazard class and category that describes the nature of the hazard(s) of a chemical, including, where appropriate, the degree of hazard.
- Precautionary Statement: a phrase that describes recommended measures to be taken to minimize or prevent adverse effects resulting from exposure to a hazardous chemical, or improper storage or handling of a hazardous chemical.
There are nine pictograms to convey the health, physical, and environmental hazards:
- Health Hazard
- Exclamation Mark
- Gas Cylinder
- Exploding Bomb
- Flame over Circle
- Skull and Crossbones
|HCS Pictograms and Hazards|
- Reproductive Toxicity
- Respiratory Sensitizer
- Target Organ Toxicity
- Aspiration Toxicity
- Emits Flammable Gas
- Organic Peroxides
- Irritant (skin and eye)
- Skin Sensitizer
- Acute Toxicity
- Narcotic Effects
- Respiratory Tract Irritant
- Hazardous to Ozone Layer (Non-Mandatory)
- Skin Corrosion/Burns
- Eye Damage
- Corrosive to Metals
- Organic Peroxides
|Flame Over Circle
|Skull and Crossbones|
- Acute Toxicity (fatal or toxic)
Employers who become newly aware of any significant information regarding the hazards of a chemical shall revise the labels for the chemical within six months of becoming aware of the new information, and shall ensure that labels on containers of hazardous chemicals shipped after that time contain the new information.
If chemicals are transferred from a labeled container to a portable container that is intended only for your immediate use, no labels are required on the portable container. Pipes or piping systems should not be labeled but their contents should be described in training sessions.
Periodically, employees are required to perform hazardous non-routine tasks (e.g., cleaning tanks, entering confined spaces, etc.). Prior to starting work on such projects, each affected employee is trained by his/her supervisor about hazardous chemicals to which they may be exposed while performing the task, and proper precautions to take in order to reduce exposure.
Everyone who works with or is potentially exposed to hazardous chemicals receives initial training on the Hazardous Communication Standard and the safe use of those chemicals. The Department Director is responsible to ensure that each employee is adequately trained on the chemicals in his/her area. Department Directors may request assistance from the Management Services Department to provide training and/or training resources such as videos and training guides.
Whenever a new chemical is introduced or the nature of a hazard changes, additional training will be provided. Periodic departmental safety meetings should be held as needed under the direction of the Department Director to reinforce previous training.
The training should emphasize these items:
- Where potentially hazardous materials are used.
- Physical and health hazards employees may come in contact with.
- Precautions to avoid unnecessary exposure.
- Instruction about personal protective equipment.
- Review of SDSs and labels to be sure they are readable and comprehendible.
- Procedures to follow in case of a spill or leak.
The Department Director advises outside contractors of any chemical hazards that may be encountered in the normal course of their work on the premises, the labeling system in use, the protective measures to be taken, the safe handling procedures to be used, and the location of SDSs. Each contractor bringing chemicals on-site must provide the Department Director with the appropriate hazard information on these substances, including labels used and precautions to take.
Failure to follow the terms of this policy and properly utilize the Hazard Communication Program will be treated as a violation of City policy. Disciplinary action may result, which could include but is not limited to verbal or written reprimand, suspension, and/or termination.
Employees may obtain further information on this program from the HR Division or the Assistant City Manager.