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  • The OSU Hazard Communication Program applies to industrial workplaces, manufacturing or laboratories and activities such as animal husbandry areas, shops, custodial, craft centers, theaters and studios. 
  • The program requires employees to maintain a hazardous chemical inventory, have access to Safety Data Sheets, understand hazards accociated with the chemicals they work with through labeling and other forms of warning, and receive safety training.
  • OR-OSHA Hazard Communication Standard (HCS, Right-to-Know Act) specifies that both employees and employers know the identity and safety/health hazards of substances used in the work place, in order to reduce occupational illnesses due to harmful chemical exposures.
  • HCS requires manufacturers of substances that are a health or physical hazard to prepare a Safety Data Sheet (SDS) and provide it to purchasers.
  • Employers who use these substances must have access to the SDS's and provide hazard training to all employees who may be exposed.
  • Exposure includes both normal work operations and emergency situations.
  • Most chemical products used at OSU are considered hazardous.

Exempted Products

  • Tobacco and tobacco products.
  • Wood and wood products.
  • Articles, manufactured items, or products that do not release or otherwise result in exposure to hazardous chemicals under normal conditions of use.
  • Foods, drugs, and cosmetics (regulated by FDA) intended for personal consumption or use by the employees in the work place.
  • Hazardous substance while in transport regulated by DOT.

What Is On A Safety Data Sheet (SDS)?

  • Identity of chemicals found in the substance (chemical and trade names).
  • The immediate and long term health effects of exposure.
  • The routes of exposure and symptoms of overexposure.
  • The potential for fire, explosion, and reactivity.
  • Emergency procedures for spills, fire, disposal, and first aid.
  • Appropriate protective equipment and clothing.

Where are SDS Kept?

  • EH&S maintains an SDS database link and other links for chemical companies that supply non-lab chemicals.
  • Most lab chemical SDS's are available through supplier web sites
  • OSU maintains a paper copy file of all SDS's in the EH&S office.
  • Employees can request specific SDS's from EH&S.
  • In an emergency, OSU employees may call Public Safety @ 7-3010 for 24 hour access to the SDS data.

OSU Hazard Communication Program

  • EH&S is responsible to administer the University's Hazard Communication Program.
  • All affected departments and employees are to comply with the rule.
  • This written policy/program is in the Safety Procedures Handbook section of the Administrative Policies and Procedures Manual. 

Employee Training

  • EH&S has a Working Safety with Hazardous Materials handbook that is offered to all departments and covers the contents of the data sheets, the basic information about chemical toxicity, and how to avoid exposure.
  • Safety training is required for all employees who work with chemicals.
  • Further training is performed on specific hazardous substances in each department or job classification on request.
  • For non-lab environments, hazards of new chemicals should be reviewed any time a new one is introduced to the work envirnment.
  • Hazard Communication handbook

Your Right-To-Know

Safety Instruction Number: 
Last Update: 
Thursday, October 23, 2014