Employees' Right to Know & Understand
Employees of Oklahoma State University have the right to know (as well as the right to understand) the properties and potential safety and health hazards of substances to which they may be exposed. Such knowledge is essential to reducing the risk of occupational illness and injury.
The Goals of OSU's Hazard Communication Program
The Five Components of the Program
OSU's Hazard Communication Program has five components:
Safety data sheets must be readily available for employee review at all times the employee is in the work place. These sheets are provided by chemical manufacturers or importers and describe the chemical composition, characteristics, potential hazards, and other information of their product. With few exceptions, SDSs for each product the employee uses / encounters in their work place must be readily accessable to them. If an employee requests to see an SDS for a product they use, and the employer cannot provide that SDS, after one working day, the employee may legally refuse to work with that product until the SDS is provided. Also, if an employee requests their own personal copy of an SDS, the employer has 15 working days to provide the copy.
With few exceptions, all unlabeled or unmarked bottles, containers, jars, etc. must be labeled according to OSU's HMLS Labeling System. HMLS labels are not mandatory for containers already provided with a manufacturer's label, but they are recommended. Buildings and laboratories must be marked or placarded as well using NFPA diamonds or the Uniform Laboratory Hazard Signage system .
Employees must receive annual training in hazard communication, and new employees must receive their initial training within the first 30 days of employment. This training must include information concerning the five components of the hazard communication program as well as site-specific training on the chemicals/products actually used by the employee.
Copies of OSU's written program (Hazard Communication Program) and printed Hazard Communication Brochure are available online or upon request from Stephen Boles, OSU's Hazard Communication Coordinator, at 744-7241. This program was written/designed to meet the federally mandated requirements of 29 CFR 1910 and 1926, as well as Oklahoma law, Title 40 O.S. sections 401-424, Oklahoma statutes as amended.
A Chemical Inventory List names each chemical substance that is in the possession of a department and in what quantities. It must be updated at least annually and sent to the Master Recordkeeper, who in turn shares the information with the local fire department and Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC). Information from this list determines the messages on NFPA placards placed outside rooms and on buildings.
Click here for more detailed information on OSU's Hazard Communication program.