Policy: Policy 11-3-18: Hazard Communication Program Date Adopted:  
Department: Environmental Health & Safety Contact: EH&S Coordinator
Statement: Western Nevada College is firmly committed to providing all its employees a safe and healthy work environment, and to see that employees receive the training to protect themselves against hazardous substances found in the workplace. This program has been developed in accordance with 29 CFR 1910.1200 as a means to achieve that end.

Table of Contents:

  1. Scope
  2. Labeling
  3. Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS)
  4. Employee Training and Information
  5. Student Training and Information
  6. Outside Contractors
  7. Non-Routine Tasks

Section 1: Scope

  1. The Program meets appropriate requirements by ensuring that all receptacles containing hazardous substances are clearly and properly labeled, that Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) or other hazard data are available to all employees in their respective work areas. In addition employee training on hazardous substances is made available.
  2. Outside contractors and their employees will be informed of the presence of hazardous substance on campus that may be encountered in the performance of their work. Similarly WNC employees will be notified of the hazardous substances that outside contractors may bring to our campuses.
  3. This procedure does not apply to tobacco, wood products, food, drugs, cosmetics, or other items intended for personal consumption or use.
  4. The hazards can be either a physical hazard or a health hazard:
    1. Physical Hazard. Any chemical or substance that is a combustible liquid, compressed gas, explosive, flammable, organic peroxide, oxidizer, unstable (reactive) or water reactive.
    2. Health Hazard. Any chemical or substance that is proven to have an adverse health effect on vital body organs and systems of any human exposed to it. This includes chemicals that are known carcinogens, toxic agents, irritants, corrosives, and sensitizers.
  5. This Hazard Communication Program does not apply to teaching laboratories where hazardous chemicals are used. This currently includes: Aspen 201, Bristlecone 329, Virgil Getto 310, Sage 104, and Bentley Hall Science Lab.

Section 2: Labeling

  1. The Supervisors and Departments or Division Managers responsible for any given college areas will ensure that all chemical containers received for use are clearly labeled as to contents, exhibit appropriate hazard warnings, and list the name and address of the manufacturer or other responsible party. Secondary containers not designated for immediate use will also be clearly labeled as to contents and hazard warnings but need not include information about the manufacturer or other responsible party.
  2. No label will be removed or defaced while material is in use. In a classroom setting, when small bottles are used from a rack or a tray, the rack or tray can be labeled with the required hazard warning information in lieu of labeling the individual bottles when contents are identical. However, each individual bottle must be labeled with the identity of its contents.
  3. When consumer products are purchased in quantities compatible with home use, they shall be used as they would be used in the home. Accordantly they shall have consumer warning labels and they are not considered hazardous substances.

Section 3: Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS)

  1. Copies of Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) or other hazard data for hazardous chemicals that employees may be exposed to, will be kept in in close proximity to where the chemicals are stored as possible. The MSDS will be available to all employees for reviewing during each work shift and copies may be obtained on request.
  2. Copies of new MSDSs shall be sent to EH&S. In addition old or outdated MSDSs shall be sent to EH&S for required record retention.

Section 4: Employee Training and Information

  1. The employees immediate supervisor will be responsible for familiarizing each new employee on the correct methods of handling hazardous chemicals that may be part of the employees task. This training will include the following:
    1. A knowledge of hazardous substances present in the workplace, the physical and health effects of each, and safety emergency procedures to be followed when any undue exposure to them occurs;
    2. The location of MSDS and other hazard data;
    3. Methods and observation techniques used to determine the presence or release of hazardous substances in the workplace;
    4. Proper meaning of labels and hazard information such as MSDSs and labels to lessen the danger of exposure to hazardous substances in the workplace;
    5. Proper work practices and protective safety measures to be followed in handling hazardous substances; and
    6. The availability of this Hazard Communication Program.
  2. Each new employee will receive instruction in this Hazardous Communication Program from the Environmental Health and Safety Department.
  3. Every employee and supervisor should request information and guidance when needed; concerning workplace hazards. Please contact the Environmental Health and Safety Department with these requests.

Section 5: Student Training and Information

  1. Each instructor is responsible for advising their students on the nature of hazardous chemicals that may be used in the classroom. Students should be made aware of this program and the MSDS or the hazard data for chemical hazards in their classroom.

Section 6: Outside Contractors

  1. Before work at the college is commenced by outside contractors and their employees, the Facilities Manager will be responsible for providing the contractor with the information on hazardous substances used by the college that may affect the contractors work.
  2. This Information includes:
    1. The type of hazardous substances that they may be exposed to while working at certain locations
    2. Protective safety measures that may be taken to reduce exposure risks
    3. Steps that the college has taken to reduce exposure risks
    4. The location of MSDS for hazardous substances that they may be exposed to
    5. Procedures to follow in case of undo exposure to a hazardous substance
  3. Similarly college personnel must be informed of the potential hazards that the outside contractor may bring to campus. This information must be made available to all affected college employees/students and may include the five items above.

Section 7: Non-Routine Tasks

  1. Occasionally employees may be asked to perform non-routine tasks or spend time in an area other than their usual working area; i.e. maintenance in an area where new hazardous materials will be used.
  2. Prior to beginning these tasks, the supervisor of the work area being entered must review the hazards of the non-routine tasks with the employee assigned the non-routine task. This is to ensure the employee(s) develop safe work habits and use effective precautionary measures.

Date(s) Revised September 2, 2008; Date(s) Reviewed