Hazard Communication for Employees
The University of Idaho Hazard Communication Program is intended to provide employees with information and training on chemical hazards. When it was originally implemented by the Idaho Division of Building Safety (DBS), the program was commonly referred to as "Employee Right to Know." Recent changes in the program have incorporated the international standard known as the Globally Harmonized System (GHS). This new standard is often referred to as the "Employee Right to Know and Understand." In other words, you should have access to information about chemical safety and be able to readily understand it.
Your supervisor will provide you with the details of the university's written program, including:
- access to the written program;
- a list of hazardous chemicals in the workplace;
- the location of Safety Data Sheets (SDSs);
- primary and secondary container labeling;
- hazards of non-routine tasks; and
- what to do if a contractor is using hazardous chemicals.
Just as your employer, the University of Idaho, has the responsibility to provide you with a safe and healthful work environment, you also have responsibilities in maintaining a safe and healthful work environment, including:
- following established policies and procedures regarding safe chemical handling;
- participating in applicable training programs;
- reading and applying Safety Data Sheet (SDS) information;
- using personal protective equipment and clothing in accordance with prescribed training; and
- notifying a supervisor if no SDS is available for a hazardous chemical or if an unlabeled chemical container is discovered.
A number of resources are available for Hazard Communication training. As a new employee, you will complete the online Hazard Communication - the New GHS Standards which is found in NetLearning@uidaho. This online course will provide you with basic information on Safety Data Sheets (SDSs), container labeling, and physical and health hazards of chemical exposure. The course is a one-time training that is not required to be repeated, and should be completed before you begin working with hazardous chemicals.
In addition, your supervisor will provide training on the specific details that apply to your work area. The training will include:
- an explanation of the Hazard Communication Standard;
- a discussion of operations in your work area where you may come into contact with hazardous materials;
- methods and observations that may be used to detect the presence or release of a hazardous chemical in your work area;
- the measures you can take to protect yourself from these hazards, including the use of personal protective equipment (PPE);
- labeling of primary and secondary containers; and
- the location of Safety Data Sheets.
Training should occur for new and current employees upon initial assignment, whenever a new hazard is introduced into the work area, and before performing specific non-routine tasks.
- Informational Guides
- Hazard Communication Binder Templates
- Program Templates
- Written Plan Template (to be used by supervisors)
- Hazardous Chemical Inventory (Excel spreadsheet template)
- Hazard Communication Program Employee Training Record (new employee)
- Hazard Communication Program Employee Training Record (new hazard or non-routine task)
- Hazard Communication Program Compliance and Review Checklist
- Secondary Container Labels
- Lab Resources