Hazard Communication Program and Globally Harmonized System (GHS)

Hazard Communication Program
The purpose of the Hazard Communication Program (HazCom) is to ensure employees are aware of hazardous chemicals in the workplace and are provided information regarding the potential hazards associated with exposure to these chemicals. This program is designed to comply with the Public Employment Risk Reduction Program (PERRP) [Ohio House Bill 308 an Act] and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Hazard Communication Program or “Employee Right-to-Know” act. All employees are required to have Hazard Communication Training and every department using hazardous chemicals should have a written program.
This program is applicable to all Ohio State University faculty, staff, student employees and contract employees and is applicable to areas where hazardous chemicals are used by employees for work-related activities. “Hazardous Chemical” implies that exposure to a chemical could pose a physical or health hazard.
"Physical hazard” means a chemical for which there is scientifically valid evidence that it is a combustible liquid, a compressed gas, explosive, flammable, an organic peroxide, an oxidizer, pyrophoric, unstable (reactive) or water-reactive.
“Health hazard” means a chemical for which there is significant evidence that acute or chronic health effects may occur in exposed employees.
Elements of the Hazard Communincation Program include:
- A written Hazard Commuincation Plan.
- A chemical inventory of hazardous chemicals in the workplace.
- Copies of "Safety Data Sheets" (SDS) for hazardous chemicals in the workplace
- Labeling requirements of primary and secondary containers
- Applicable "Standard Operating Procedures" (SOP) for specific hazardous chemicals
- Use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
- Employee Training
- Emergency Procedures for Chemicals Spills/Releases
Global Harmonized System
The OSU Hazard Communication Program also provides information for compliance the GHS, which is an acronym for The Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals. The GHS is a system for standardizing and harmonizing the classification and labeling of chemicals. It is a logical and comprehensive approach to defining health, physical and environmental hazards of chemicals; creating classification processes that use available data on chemicals for comparison with the defined hazard criteria; and communicating hazard information, as well as protective measures, on labels and Safety Data Sheets (SDS).
Employee Training

All Ohio State University employees are required to complete training on “Hazard Communication".   This training is mandatory, even for personnel who do not work in a laboratory or handle hazardous materials. Both of these mandatory trainings can be done on-line and will not take very long to complete.  The reason OSU’s Office of Environmental Health and Safety is asking this be done on-line, is to be efficient in documenting those who have participated. All faculty and staff are encouraged to complete the trainings to comply with the State Public Employment Risk Reduction Program (PERRP) and the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Hazard Communication Program (“Employee Right-to-Know”).

OSU Employee On-line Training:

1) Click on this link -  https://ehs.osu.edu/training
2) Cick on the Occupational Health & Safety content area.

3) Scroll down to locate the Hazard Communication training course and click on "Take this Course".
4) Sign in using your osu.edu login (last name.###)
5) At the end of the on-line training you will be prompted to take the quiz.
6) Once training has been completed, a list your training sessions will be listed under “My Training”.

If you have any questions regarding Hazard Communication or Global Harmonized System (GHS), please contact Kent McGuire at mcguire.225@osu.edu or 292-0588. You may also contact the OSU Environmental Health and Safety Office online at http://ehs.osu.edu/OccHealthSafety/default.aspx or by phone at (614) 292-1284.

Reviewed / Updated: 10/26/20 K. McGuire