This module details the responsibilities of specific individuals within work units. At the end of this module, you will be able to:
- State the specific Hazard Communication responsibilities of supervisors, procurement employees and other designated employees.
- Recognize the various posters and notices that are required to be posted in worksites.
- State your rights as an employee under the Hazard Communication Standard/ Right-to-Know Law.
An agency may designate someone within the agency, usually a supervisor or manager, to oversee agency compliance with the HazCom/NYS Right-to-Know Law. This person’s responsibilities include:
- Ensuring overall agency compliance.
- Ensuring that a list of all hazardous chemicals used in a facility or work site is maintained and updated by the person responsible for that facility/work site.
- This list must include all hazardous chemicals which present a possible exposure to employees.
- For chemicals that employees are exposed to which were not purchased, there may not be an MSDS readily availalble. In these situations, the employer must gather the information that employees need to be trained on. This information must be retained in the same way as an MSDS. Possible sources for the information include:
- National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
- Vermont Safety Information Resource, Inc.
- Agency for Toxic Sustances and Disease Registry
- Maintaining a library of Material Safety Data Sheets. This library will be maintained in a central location and will include an MSDS for all hazardous chemicals used at any agency location.
- Providing assistance and direction to office and facility staff responsible for determining which hazardous chemicals or materials are present at their locations and for acquiring and updating the appropriate MSDSs.
- Ensuring that all employees have received HazCom/Right-to-Know training. Consulting with facility or work site managers or staff regarding any questions or issues that arise.
- Serving as the advisor on Hazard Communication/Right-to-Know training and ensuring training is provided annually.
- Providing signs required under the Right-to-Know Law.
The agency employee who purchases and procures the various materials within your work unit is responsible for the following:
- Ensuring that all new procurements are accompanied, where appropriate, by MSDSs that meet the requirement of the Hazard
- Communication Standard.
- Ensuring that all new MSDSs are included and maintained in the agency's library of MSDSs.
- Providing copies of MSDSs to the occupational safety and health manager immediately upon request.
- Maintaining a central inventory of all hazardous chemicals used in the agency.
The agency employee or employees who are designated to provide training and other information relative to Hazard Communication will:
- Provide initial and annual training of all staff members as described in the agency lesson plan. This training may be accomplished by completing this online course and follow-up activities. Any changes in content will be made by directives from your agency health and safety manager.
- Train employees on new chemical hazards when introduced into the office.
- Maintain an up-to-date inventory of all hazardous chemicals on hand.
- Maintain training records. These records will include the names of employees completing the training, name of the trainer and date of the training session. These records will be maintained in the office file and made available during compliance inspections.
Federal and New York State law stipulates that employers must have a legible sign informing employees of their right to information regarding toxic substances found in the workplace posted conspicuously on employee bulletin boards or in other similar places.
There are two signs required to be posted in public employer work sites:
- Labor Law Information - Relating to Public Employees Job Safety and Health Protection (Available from the NYS Department of Labor)
- You Have a Right-to-Know! (Available from the NYS Health Department)