The use of hazardous chemicals in the workplace is highly regulated to ensure those working with chemical substances do so in a safe manner. Using hazardous chemicals can place UNH employees and students at risk of exposures which can lead to both physical injuries and illnesses. One of the programs developed by OEHS is the Hazard Communication Program. This program is mandated by both the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Hazard Communication Standard, 29 CFR 10190.1200 and the State of New Hampshire Department of Labor Right to Know Law, Title XXIII, Chapter 277-A, Toxic and Hazardous Substances.
This program has been developed to provide information to those that use chemical substances at UNH to assist in reducing potential exposures. This is done by the following:
- The appropriate labeling of chemical containers;
- Maintaining a comprehensive inventory of chemicals at UNH and a corresponding Safety Data Sheet (formerly known as Material Safety Data Sheets).
- Making sure the Safety Data Sheets are available to those employees that wish to learn more about the chemicals they may encounter at UNH; and
- Providing training on the provisions of the UNH Hazard Communication Standard
OSHA's recently revised Hazard Communication Standard adopts the provisions of the Globally Harmonized System (GHS) of Classification and Labeling of chemicals. GHS is an international approach to hazard communication which provides standardized requirements for container labeling and Safety Data Sheets (SDS). This revision provides a common approach to classifying chemicals and communicating information on their hazards.
Labels on containers will be providing hazard information in a different format. You will see a pictogram to alert you of the potential hazards of chemicals in the workplace. In addition, labels will have a signal word, hazard statement; and precautionary statements.
Safety Data Sheets will still provide you with additional information about chemicals in the workplace however the new standard will require them to follow the same standardized format.
Information on the revised labels and Safety Data Sheets is provided by following the links highlighted above.
Please take the time to review the materials provided on the UNH Globally Harmonized System for Hazard Communication page.
OEHS has developed the following training tutorial to provide you with an overview of the Hazard Communication Standard and its integration of GHS. Please click here (link is external) to get started.
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Brian Cournoyer, Occupational Safety Coordinator
Phone: (603) 862-4761
Matthew Smith, Occupational Health and Safety Specialist