Hazard Communication Safety & Training Resources
This document provides an overview of the OSHA Hazard Communication Standard and the resources available to reduce the risk of exposure to hazardous chemicals and ensure compliance.
The purpose of the OSHA Hazard Communication Standard (HCS), 29 CFR 1910.1200, is to ensure that the hazards of all chemicals produced or imported are classified, and that information concerning the classified hazards is transmitted to employers and employees. The HCS covers all forms of chemicals in the workplace including liquids, solids, gases, vapors, fumes and mists. All University of Wisconsin-Madison departments, facilities and affiliates that work with or use hazardous chemicals in a non-laboratory environment are subject to the requirements of the HCS. The main elements of the HCS include a chemical inventory, chemical labeling, Safety Data Sheets, a written plan and employee training. See below for training information and additional resources on the HCS.
Key Elements of the HCS:
Training should occur at both initial assignment and whenever a new chemical hazard the employees have not previously been trained on is introduced into their work area. For training and HCS resources, click on the links below.
Safety Data Sheets
Employers are required to maintain safety data sheets (SDS) in the workplace for each hazardous chemical used. SDSs must be readily accessible and employees must have access to the SDS for the chemicals they are exposed to during all work shifts. The purpose of an SDS is to communicate the hazards of hazardous chemical properties. To ensure that all hazards are communicated, update SDSs as new versions become available and obtain SDSs for any new chemicals introduced into the workplace. In addition to updating SDSs, be sure to update the sites’ chemical inventory when new chemicals are introduced.
SDSs can be requested from UW-Madison Environmental, Health, & Safety at: https://ehs.wisc.edu/safety-data-sheets/.
The chemical manufacturer or importer must label all containers of hazardous chemicals in accordance with the Hazard Communication Standard and Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). The label must contain the following information:
- Product Identifier
- Signal Word (Danger or Warning)
- Hazard Statement
- Precautionary Statement
- Name, address and phone number of the manufacturer.
When chemicals are transferred from a labeled container into a secondary container, the secondary container can be labeled with the shipping label or a workplace label that contains the identity of the chemical and words, pictures, symbols, or combination thereof, which provides information on the physical and health hazards of the chemical. Never deface or remove any container labels and ensure labels and other forms of warning are legible, prominently displayed and in English.