Safety Policy & Procedure Manual
Section 100: General Safety
Revised: 7/22/2013


To protect non-laboratory employees from hazardous chemicals in the workplace; to ensure employees and employers are adequately informed about hazardous chemicals in the workplace and how to protect themselves; and to prevent employee work-related injuries and illnesses from exposures to hazardous chemicals.

Background Information

The Hazard Communication and Training Act requires employers to inform workers about hazardous chemicals in their work areas and to provide training in safety procedures.  Oregon State University has designated Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) to administer a program to comply with this law.


Hazardous Chemicals Index

EH&S maintains a list of the hazardous chemicals or substances in the workplace.  Each department is responsible for providing EH&S with a copy of each safety data sheet that they receive from manufacturers.

Safety Data Sheets (SDS)

Departments may obtain computerized safety data sheets for hazardous materials from EH&S by using one of the following procedures:

If a necessary safety data sheet is not on the computerized list, contact EH&S; they will obtain a copy of the SDS from the manufacturer of the hazardous chemical.

Supervisor Responsibilities

Employee Training and Information

Each supervisor is required to train each employee on the presence and safe handling of hazardous chemicals in the employee's workplace.  This training shall be provided at the time of the employee's initial assignment and whenever a new hazardous chemical is introduced into the workplace.  This training should include at least the following:

  • The physical and health hazards of the chemicals.
  • The methods that may be used to detect the presence or release of the hazardous chemicals.
  • The measures employees can take to protect themselves from these hazards.
  • The details of the hazard communication program, labeling requirements, and how employees can obtain and use the chemical hazard information.

EH&S recommends that the supervisor keeps a record of the training.  EH&S has developed training outlines and may be contacted for assistance.  Each employee must also receive a copy of Working Safely with Hazardous Materials Handbook for Employees.  This booklet is given to new employees as part of the orientation program conducted by the Office of Human Resources.

Non-Routine Hazardous Tasks

When OSU employees are required to perform a hazardous non-routine task involving a chemical substance, the supervisor should inform each affected employee of:

  • specific chemical hazards;
  • protective safety measures that can be taken;
  • measures taken by the university to lessen the hazard (such as ventilation, respirators, required presence of fellow workers); and
  • established emergency procedures.

Examples of non-routine tasks are work in confined places, work with asbestos, and work with PCBs.

Container Labeling

Supervisor Responsibilities

Supervisors must verify that all containers in their area of responsibility are properly labeled.  If a proper label is not provided, the supervisor should contact EH&S for labels and instructions.  Supervisors must ensure that all secondary containers are labeled with either an extra copy of the original manufacturer's label or with other labels that contain at least the name of the chemical and the appropriate hazard warning.

Employee Responsibilities

Employees are responsible for clearly labeling all chemicals and chemical products that are in their original container, including the content, appropriate hazard warning, and name and address of the manufacturer.  EH&S is available to provide assistance in labeling.

Contractor Requirements & Responsibilities

All contractors are required to submit to EH&S a hazardous chemical list and safety data sheets for those chemicals that fall within the scope of the Hazard Communication rules.  This list should be submitted five (5) working days before introduction of the chemical to the campus.  This gives EH&S time to provide safety information to OSU employees and other contractor employees who will be involved with the chemical.

Department Responsibilities

Departments are responsible for removing, if possible, all hazardous chemicals that contract employees may be exposed to during their work.  If requested, employing departments are responsible for supplying contractors with a chemical list and/or safety data sheets prior to the beginning of any job.  This information must include all hazardous chemicals that contract employees will be exposed to while at the job site and protective measures they may take to lessen the possibility of exposure.  The departments employing the contractors are responsible for notifying the contractors of their right to the hazardous chemical safety information.


Right to Know (Safety Instruction 001)

Working Safely with Hazardous Materials (handbook)