Hazard Communication

The George Washington University developed the Hazard Communication Program to prevent hazardous material injuries while using chemicals in the workplace, and to assure that information concerning identified hazards and appropriate hazard control mechanisms are provided to individual employees who work with hazardous chemicals. A copy of this program is available upon request.

OSHA's Hazard Communication Standard was enacted to ensure that employees are aware of the potential hazards associated with occupational exposure to chemicals. The regulation requires employers to compile and maintain a chemical inventory and to provide training to employees concerning those hazardous chemicals. Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) must be readily accessible to employees. Labeling requirements for containers of hazardous chemicals are also included in the regulation. Finally, the employer must have a written hazard communication program to outline how these requirements are to be accomplished. Laboratories are exempt from this standard however, a separate OSHA regulation exists for employees using hazardous chemicals in laboratories. For more information refer to the Lab Safety & Research section.

Since the University uses hazardous chemicals in many areas, all departments are covered by the standard. Individual departments, where the use of hazardous chemicals is an essential function of the job, will receive specialized training on those hazards.