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Chemical Safety for Non-Laboratory Employees

Chemicals in use at RFUMS present a wide range of health hazards (irritation, sensitization, toxicity and carcinogenicity) and physical hazards (combustibility, flammability, corrosivity, and reactivity). Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Hazard Communication Standard (29 CFR 1910.1200​) establishes that employees have both a "Right-To-Understand" what chemical hazards they may face in the workplace and access to training on how to protect themselves against those hazards. To maintain compliance with the Standard, RFUMS:

  • ​has implemented a written Hazard Communication Program​ that provides for and supports methods to educate employees about hazardous substances they may be exposed to in the workplace, potential harmful effects of these substances and the appropriate control measures they can take and are provided by RFUMS to protect against those hazards
  • ensures through inspections and training that containers containing chemicals are properly labeled and stored
  • ensures through inspections and training that employees are provided ready access to chemical Safety Data Sheets (SDS)
  • has developed a training program for all employees with potential exposure to chemical hazards


Training is on-line and located on the University D2L web site. Topics covered in the training module include:

  • ​overview of the RFUMS Hazard Communication Program
  • how to read and understand a chemical label and Safety Data Sheet (SDS)
  • health and physical hazards of chemicals
  • administrative and engineering control measures
  • emergency response to chemical spills

Contact EHS (X3422) for instructions on how to register for the Hazard Communication class. 

Employees, Operations, & Substances Covered By The Hazard Communication Program

  • ​​all non-research RFUMS employees
  • laboratories  that  primarily  provide  quality  control  analyses  for  manufacturing processes or that produce hazardous substances for commercial purposes
  • ​​hazardous substances purchased and used by RFUMS employees for non-research uses

Research Laboratory operations are exempted from the provisions of the Hazard Communication Program and are addressed under the RFUMS Chemical Hygiene Plan​(CHP).

Further information is available in the following references: