Cornell University employees have a right to know about the health and physical hazards presented by chemicals they work with or could be exposed to in their work location, and what they can do to avoid injury or illness when working with these chemicals. Environmental Health and Safety provides information and training in order to reduce the possibility of accidental exposure and to comply with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Hazard Communication Standard.
The Hazard Communication standard involves anyone who may come into contact with hazardous chemicals. It is important that you are familiar with the standard, aware of your rights, and understand how it protects you. Refer to the fact sheets at the bottom of this page for more information regarding the regulation. Here are some basic components covered by the standard:
Safety Data Sheets (SDS) - these informative documents describe the various hazards of a chemical and proper handling information. They must be readily available to employees for all chemicals found in the workplace.
Signs and Labels - all chemical containers must be labeled as to their contents.
Training - all new employees who utilize chemicals must receive training in the basic requirements of the hazard communication standard. Instruction includes reading and comprehending an SDS, proper labeling, use of personal protective equipment, and the proper storage of chemicals.