SAFETY-102: Hazard Communication / Right-to-Know Policy

Impact Area: SUNY Morrisville (Morrisville campus, Norwich campus, EOC)

Author: Environmental Health & Safety

Supersedes Policy #: Previously ADMIN-107 being renumbered and moved to “SAFETY” category with same Policy details

Policy Summary

Under the New York State “Right-to-Know" Act, all employees have a right to know about the hazards you are exposed to in the workplace.  The law requires that your employer make you aware of the hazards and provide you with the information you need to work safely.  Under the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Hazard Communication Standard (HCS), your employer must develop a comprehensive program to inform you of hazards you may encounter in the workplace and provide you with training in the use and handling of products containing hazardous chemicals.   Additionally public sector workplaces in NYS must meet the requirements of the NYS Right-To-Know law.   Any employee may request safety data sheets on any toxic substance found or used in the workplace.

The Hazard Communication Standard includes:

  • Hazard classification:  Provides specific criteria for classification of health and physical hazards, as well as classification of mixtures.
  • Labels:  Chemical manufacturers and importers will be required to provide a label that includes a harmonized signal word, pictogram, and hazard statement for each hazard class and category.  Precautionary statements must also be provided. 
  • Safety Data Sheets:  will have a specified 16-section format
  • Information and Training:  Employers are required to train workers on the new label’s elements and safety data sheets format to facilitate recognition and understanding.

Employees should contact the Environmental Health and Safety Office, ext. 6450, for additional information regarding safety in the workplace.