Chemical Hazard Communication Program

WAC 296-901-140

1.0 Introduction

PLU employees can review a copy of this written program in the office and the website of the Environmental Health & Safety Manager.

The purpose of the Chemical Hazard Communication Program is to ensure that all affected employees are aware of the dangers associated with hazardous materials used at Pacific Lutheran University.

2.0 Responsibilities

2.1 Supervisors
        • Verify container labeling
        • Maintain Safety Data Sheets (SDS) binder and list of hazardous products
        • Forward SDS and updated hazardous products lists to Environmental Health & Safety office
        • Arrange employee training
        • Review new SDS for new hazards and controls and train affected employees
        • Duties may be delegated

3.0 Common Hazardous Chemical Procedures

The manufacturer’s recommended procedures must always be followed. These procedures can be found on each Safety Data Sheet (SDS). Safety Data Sheets are explained in Section 5.0.

No employee is permitted to use a hazardous chemical product until the SDS is on site.

No employee is permitted to use a hazardous chemical product until the employee has had chemical hazard communication training.

Approved containers must be used for gasoline and other flammable or combustible solvents. Equipment power cords must be disconnected before the equipment is cleaned with solvents. Proper ventilation must be used when there is the possibility of fumes or vapors accumulating

4.0 Container Labeling

All containers of hazardous materials, including those in academic laboratories, at Pacific Lutheran University must have securely affixed warning labels. This requirement applies to all hazardous materials, whether purchased before or after the effective date of this program.

The labels must be prominently displayed, written in English, and clearly legible. It is strongly encouraged that departments use the GHS labeling system, which uses pictograms to identify health and physical hazards. Please contact the Environmental Health & Safety Manager for more information.

The original manufacturer’s label or a hand-written label will be acceptable, if the hand written label contains the original information and is clearly legible, in English.

4.1 Primary Containers

On the primary (original) container, labels must include the following information:

        • Identity of the hazardous chemical in the container. The chemical or product name must correspond to a specific Safety Data Sheet with the same name.
        • Appropriate chemical labels must have a signal word (i.e. “Danger” or “Warning”), hazard statement, precautionary statement, pictogram, or combination thereof, which provides at least general information regarding the hazards of the chemical. The label when used in conjunction with the other information immediately available to the employee (i.e. SDS, manufacturer) will provide specific information regarding the physical or health hazards of the chemical.
4.2 Secondary Containers

Repackaged secondary or temporary hazardous chemical containers must be labeled with the name and pictogram that was included on the primary container.

4.3 Annual Review and Updating

The University Safety Committee will periodically review the effectiveness of the campus labeling program and recommend that it be updated, if needed.

5.0 Safety Data Sheets (SDS’s)

Copies of Safety Data Sheets (SDS) will be available to all affected employees for all hazardous chemicals located at Pacific Lutheran University.

Each department will keep a binder of Safety Data Sheets for the chemicals used in that work area. The SDS binder will be readily available for review by all employees during each work shift. Copies will be available to the employee upon request.

The Environmental Health & Safety Manager is responsible for establishing and monitoring the SDS system, including procedures for obtaining SDS. The manufacturers of hazardous chemicals are required to supply SDS for their products. The user shall forward a copy of all SDS received to the Environmental Health & Safety Manager so that a complete set of SDS for all hazardous materials on the PLU campus will be maintained in one office.

  1. 5.1 Reviewing and Updating MSDS’s

    Each supervisor will review incoming SDS for new and significant health or safety information and will see that any new information is passed on to affected employees through training. SDS’s will be updated as new products are added or old ones discontinued.

6.0 New Product Hazards

Before any new chemical is introduced into the work place, each employee will be given hazardous product information in the same manner as during the initial Chemical Hazard Communication training. The employee’s supervisor is responsible for providing this information.

6.1 New Chemical Labeling & MSDS’s

Each supervisor must verify that new containers of hazardous chemicals are properly labeled before they are brought into the specific work area. Labels must be legible. SDS on new chemicals must be entered into the departments SDS folder.

7.0 List of Hazardous Chemicals

The supervisor of each work area is responsible for keeping an up-to-date list or inventory of hazardous chemicals used in that area. The list must refer to a chemical by the same name(s) used on the corresponding Safety Data Sheet (SDS) and the container label. This list must be kept with the binder containing the SDS for these hazardous chemicals. This list and the SDS binder must be available for review by employees during any work shift.

The supervisor must note the date a new hazardous chemical is added to, or taken from the list. A revised list and a copy of the SDS must be forwarded to the Environmental Health & Safety Manager. The Environmental Health & Safety Manager will maintain an archive SDS file for hazardous products that are no longer on site, as an historical record.

8.0 Hazardous Non-Routine Tasks

Employees may be required to perform non-routine tasks involving hazardous products. Prior to starting work on such projects, each affected employee will be given information by his/her supervisor about hazardous chemicals to which they may be exposed during such activity. This information will include:

    • Specific chemical hazards.
    • Protective/safety measures the employee can take.
    • Measures the University has taken to lessen the hazards including ventilation, personal protective equipment, product substitution, presence of another employee, and emergency procedures.

It is the University policy that no employee will begin work in a confined space or on any non-routine task involving hazardous materials without first receiving a safety briefing from the department supervisor.

9.0 Informing Contractors

It is the responsibility of the Pacific Lutheran University to provide contractors with information regarding hazardous chemicals in the contractor’s work area. The notification shall be in writing and will include:

    • University safety rules.
    • Hazardous chemicals to which they may be exposed while on the job site.
    • Measures the contractor’s employees may take to lessen the possibility of exposure.
    • Steps the University has taken to lessen the risks of chemical exposure or injury.
    • Availability and location of SDS for all hazardous chemicals used at PLU.
    • Emergency procedures to follow in case of exposure.

It is the contractor’s responsibility to notify PLU’s Project Manager or the Environmental Health & Safety Manager, in writing, when hazardous chemicals will be brought onto campus. The contractor will provide the following information:

    • Specific hazards for materials brought to the PLU campus
    • SDS for hazardous materials brought to the PLU campus.
    • Protective/safety measures to minimize exposure of the PLU community to hazardous materials.
    • Emergency procedures to be used when a hazardous chemical is released.

10.0 Employee Training and Information

All employees of Pacific Lutheran University who may be exposed to hazardous chemicals at PLU will be provided information and training on the chemicals in their work area. Prior to starting work, each new employee with potential exposure to hazardous products will attend a health and safety orientation and will receive information and training on the following:

    • An overview of the requirements contained in the Chemical Hazard Communication Standard.
    • Hazardous chemicals present in his/her work places or operations.
    • Location and availability of PLU’s written Chemical Hazard Communication Program.
    • Physical and health effects of the hazardous chemicals used in his/her work place.
    • Methods and observation techniques used to determine the presence or release of hazardous chemicals in the work area.
    • How to lessen or prevent exposure to hazardous chemicals through use of control procedures, work practices, and personal protective equipment.
    • Steps PLU has taken to lessen or prevent exposure to these chemicals.
    • Emergency procedures to follow if exposed to these chemicals.
    • How to read GHS labels and review Safety Data Sheets to obtain appropriate hazard information.
    • Location and availability of the Safety Data Sheet file and lists of hazardous chemicals present in the employee’s work area.

It is the responsibility of the supervisor to ensure that employees have received this training before working in an area with hazardous chemicals.

Periodic notices will be posted on the employee bulletin boards, which provide an explanation of the GHS container labeling system and the location of PLU’s written Chemical Hazard Communication Program.

The Environmental Health & Safety Manager will be responsible for assisting supervisors in arranging the employee training and information program.

11.0 Emergency Procedures

In case of a chemical spill or accidental exposure to hazardous chemicals, immediately call Campus Safety at x79ll. Refer to the appropriate SDS for emergency instructions and relay this information to Campus Safety.

12.0 Disposing of Hazardous Materials

A hazardous material is any substance in any quantity or form that could jeopardize health, safety, or property. Such materials include toxic chemicals, flammable liquids or solids, poisons, corrosives, compressed gases and others. Approval must be obtained from the PLU Environmental Health & Safety Manager before disposing of potentially hazardous material according to PLU’s Hazardous Materials Disposal Plan.