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Oregon State University

Right-To-Know

Safety Instruction Number: 
1
Last Update: 
Mon, 10/07/2013

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General

  • Or-OSHA Hazard Communication Standard (HCS, Right-to-Know Act) specifies that both employees and employers know the identity and safety/health hazards of substances used in the work place, in order to reduce occupational illnesses due to harmful chemical exposures
  • HCS requires manufacturers of substances that are a health or physical hazard to prepare a Safety Data Sheet (SDS) and provide it to purchasers
  • Employers who use these substances must retain the MSDS's and provide hazard training to all employees who may be exposed
  • Exposure includes both normal work operations and emergency situations
  • Most chemical products used at OSU are considered hazardous

Exempted Products

  • Tobacco and tobacco products
  • Wood and wood products
  • Articles, manufactured items, or products that do not release or otherwise result in exposure to hazardous chemicals under normal conditions of use
  • Foods, drugs, and cosmetics (regulated by FDA) intended for personal consumption or use by the employees in the work place
  • Hazardous substance while in transport regulated by DOT

What Is On A Safety Data Sheet (SDS)?

  • Identity of chemicals found in the substance (chemical and trade names)
  • The immediate and long term health effects of exposure
  • The routes of exposure and symptoms of overexposure
  • The potential for fire, explosion, and reactivity
  • Emergency procedures for spills, fire, disposal, and first aid
  • Appropriate protective equipment and clothing

Where are SDS Kept?

  • EH&S maintainslinks for chemical companies that supply non-lab chemicals
  • Most lab chemical SDS's are available through supplier web sites
  • OSU maintains a paper copy file of all SDS's in the EH&S office
  • Employees can request specific SDS's from EH&S
  • In an emergency, OSU employees may call Public Safety @ 7-3010 for 24 hour access to the SDS data file

OSU Hazard Communication Program

  • EH&S is responsible to implement and administer the University's Hazard Communication Program
  • All departments have been included in order to comply with the rule
  • This written program is in the Safety Procedures Handbook section of the Administrative Policies and Procedures Manual 

Employee Training

  • EH&S has a Right-to-Know training program that is offered to all departments
  • Program covers the contents of the data sheets, the basic information about chemical toxicity, and how to avoid exposure
  • Further training is performed on specific hazardous substances in each department or job classification on request
  • Hazard Communication handbook

Your Right-To-Know

  • If you are concerned about any substance you are working with, call EH&S at 7-2273
  • EH&S can provide more complete information, help interpret data sheets, and evaluate potential health effects of exposure based on your job environment.