You, as an RIT employee, have the right to know the properties and potential health & safety hazards of any hazardous chemical to which you may be exposed while working at RIT. A hazardous chemical is any chemical that may harm you physically or that may pose a hazard to your health.
The hazard communication program is also known as the "Chemical Right to Know." Its purpose is to ensure that all employers receive the information they need to inform and train their employees properly and are able to design and put in place employee protection programs. This program requires chemical manufacturers or importers to assess the hazards of chemicals which they produce and to provide end users with this information through the use of appropriate labels and Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS).
These requirements enable RIT to ensure its employees are informed of: the hazards of the chemical they may encounter in their workplace, the proper personal protective equipment to protect them from the hazards, and procedures to follow if exposed to hazardous chemicals.
There are Five major elements to RIT's Hazard Communication Program:
- Chemical Inventory- completed annually
- Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS)-retained locally in the workspace where chemicals are used
- Labeling & Marking- properly labeling of containers
- Employee Information & Training
- Written Hazard Communication Plan
29 CFR 1910.1200
Program Management Requirements
This program requires many facets of participation. The following items are critical to successful implementation of the Hazard Communication Plan.
- Development of a written hazard communication plan
- Information and training
- Availability and accessibility to MSDS sheets
- Ensuring chemicals are appropriately labeled
- Providing appropriate engineering controls, establishment of workplace safety controls and provision of personal protective equipment where required
RIT as the employer is responsible for ensuring that employees are appropriately informed and trained, appropriate provisions are made for the employees to protect themselves from the hazards they may encounter, and the documentation of the written Hazard Communication Plan.
This program also requires departmental, supervisory and employee participation. This participation can be accomplished by ensuring that you attend required training, maintaining appropriate container labeling of the chemicals you use, ensuring MSDSs are available for the chemicals you have in your departments, and following workplace safety practices and controls for the chemicals you are using.
All employees are required to receive hazard communication training upon the start of employment. Refresher training must also be provided intermittently by your department when new chemical hazards are introduced.
The Hazard Communication generic training presentation is provided by the RIT EH&S Department throughout the year through RIT’s Center for Professional Development. If you can not make one of these training sessions, the training is also available by special request for specific group presentations, or online through this website. This training is available online through E-Learning Zone: Hazard Communication Training 2012
All contractors who use hazardous chemicals at RIT must maintain MSDSs on site and provide the information to RIT upon request.
Faculty, staff and students will be informed of precautionary measures necessary to protect themselves from the chemical hazardous used by contractors, when applicable, by their supervisor.
Contractors will be required to maintain labeling on all hazardous chemicals in accordance with the OSHA Hazard Communication Standard. All labeling must be legible.
All of the contractor’s hazardous materials shall be properly stored while on campus, in order to reduce the likelihood of an unintended release or exposure.