Environmental Health & Safety

Chemical Hazard Communication


Employees, in non-laboratory workplaces, are to be informed of the identities and hazards of the chemicals they are potentially exposed to and what protective measures are required.  Each department using chemicals in a non-laboratory setting is to have a Chemical Hazard Communication Program.  The program’s main parts are:

Occupational Health & Safety (OH&S) has developed a Chemical Hazard Communication Program template to assist departments in developing a program.  To complete the written program:  carefully read each section and fill-in the required information.

Training

Employees using chemicals should receive training on the department’s program, the hazardous chemicals in their workplace, and how to protect themselves from those hazards.  Supervisors can use the resources below to provide the training or contact OH&S for assistance.

Hazard Communication and the Globally Harmonized System (GHS)

The Globally Harmonized System of Classifying and Labeling Chemicals, or GHS, is a system developed by the United Nations (UN) for standardizing and harmonizing the classification and labeling of chemicals. GHS itself is not a law, standard, or mandate that must be followed, but rather a voluntary system created in the hope that countries and organizations around the world will use some or all of the system.

OSHA has adopted portions of GHS into its federal Hazard Communication Standard (HCS), or "HazCom" for short. Likewise, Washington State's Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) through its Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) has also aligned their revised Hazard Communication Standard, identified as Washington Administrative Code (WAC) 296-901, with GHS. The new GHS aligned HazCom Standard will provide a common and coherent approach to classifying chemicals and communicating hazard information on labels and safety data sheets.

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Resources

Chemical Hazard Communication Program Template

WAC 296-901: Hazard Communication

Safety Data Sheets (SDSs)

Chemical Exposure Monitoring

Chemical Waste Disposal

Fact Sheet: Chemical Hazard Communication: Your Right to Know

Fact Sheet: Chemical Safety: Labels and SDS

Safety Policies and Procedures Manual: Chemical Hazard Communication Program

Contact Us

Environmental Health & Safety, PO Box 641172, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-1172, 509-335-3041, Contact Us