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Hazard Communication Right-to-Know. Introducing the Global Harmonization Standard and the new revisions to the Hazard Communication/RTK Standard SUNYIT Environmental Health and Safety September 2013. Global Harmonization Standard

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hazard communication right to know

Hazard CommunicationRight-to-Know

Introducing the Global Harmonization Standard and the new revisions to the Hazard Communication/RTK Standard

SUNYIT Environmental Health and Safety

September 2013


Global Harmonization Standard

“Revising OSHA's Hazard Communication standard will improve the quality and consistency of hazard information, making it safer for workers to do their jobs and easier for employers to stay competitive.“

  • New look to labels.
  • New pictograms on labels.
  • More standardized Safety Data Sheets.
    • Better Safety Data Sheet information.
things that haven t changed
Things that haven’t changed:
  • Chemicals can only cause health effects when they come into contact with your body.
  • Routes of Entry
    • Skin contact (absorption through the skin or damage on contact to skin or eyes)
    • Inhalation
    • Ingestion
    • Injection
skin contact
Skin Contact
  • Skin irritation or injury
  • Skin absorption (some things are absorbed through the skin)
Some materials are absorbed through the skin:

Others irritate or burn the skin:

exposure limits assumes 8 hrs day and 40 hrs week generally healthy worker population
Exposure Limitsassumes 8 hrs/day and 40 hrs/weekgenerally healthy worker population



Permissible Exposure Limit

Legally enforceable

For both the PEL and TLV, the higher the number, the less toxic a material is, the more you can inhale without injury

Threshold Limit Value

More responsive to new scientific information

There are other exposure limits that may also be used.


AMA's Current Procedural Terminology, Revised 1998 Edition. 

common sense rules around chemicals
Common Sense: Rules Around Chemicals
  • Respect fire hazard and be prepared to respond to fires, spills, and other emergencies!
  • Understand the hazards associated with the chemicals.
  • Understand the personal protective equipment (PPE) that you need, and all safety procedures.
  • Use the smallest quantity of the least hazardous chemicals possible.
more common sense rules
More Common Sense Rules
  • When dealing with dust, use wet methods when you can.
  • Wash after chemical use.
  • Don’t eat or drink around hazardous chemicals.
  • Remove protective clothing and equipment when you have finished the job.
common sense
Common Sense
  • Don’t mix different chemicals without authorization.
  • Don’t super-concentrate chemicals that the manufacturer intended to have diluted.
    • More is not necessarily better.
planning for chemical use
Planning for Chemical Use
  • Engineering Controls
    • Do we need this chemical?
    • Can we isolate the chemical from the people?
  • Work Practice Controls
    • Can we minimize the ways it can impact a worker’s body?
  • Administrative Controls
    • Can we limit exposure to certain areas, time periods?
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
    • Gloves, goggles, respirators, moon suits, etc.
how are hazards communicated
How are hazards communicated?
  • Two important tools to supplement supervisor's orientation about hazardous materials in the workplace:
    • Labels
    • Safety Data Sheets
labels standardized form and language
Labels:Standardized Form and Language
  • Symbol – pictogram
  • Signal Word
    • Danger (more significant)
    • Warning
  • Standard hazard statement
  • Black and white pictures with a red diamond border.
  • Pictures generally give a clue as to hazard.
  • If a number appears, the smaller the number, the greater the hazard!
currently used labels hmis nfpa diamond
Currently Used Labels:HMIS & NFPA Diamond
  • 0 means almost no hazard
  • 4 means extreme danger
new ghs pictograms
New GHS Pictograms
  • If there is a number with GHS, the bigger the number the lesser the hazard!
  • Opposite direction from NFPA

Carcinogens cause cancer.

Mutagens cause harm to fetuses.

Reproductive toxins cause problems in pregnancy and/or getting pregnant (men and women).

Respiratory Sensitizer means you may have a heightened reaction on second exposure.

Target organ is the organ that is most effected.

Aspiration toxic means it irritates or harms when you inhale the liquid or solid.


Flammable means vapors burn.

  • Pyrophorics will ignite spontaneously when exposed to air.
  • Organic peroxides can sometimes form explosive compounds by themselves.
  • Self igniters/heaters get warm over time with access to air.

Irritants irritate.

  • Sensitizers cause more severe second-exposure reactions.
  • Acute – short term
  • Chronic – long term

Gas under pressure can release pressure quickly – causing mechanical hazards and releasing large volumes of gas that can displace air (suffocation potential) or be toxic.

secondary labeling
Secondary Labeling
  • If you transfer chemicals to another container - it MUST be labeled.
    • Name of product
      • ABC Cleaner
    • General hazard warning information
      • WARNING: May cause eye irritation! Avoid eye contact!
nys right to know law 12 nycrr part 820
NYS Right-to-Know Law12 NYCRR Part 820
  • Notice to Employees posted.
  • MSDS/SDS information must be provided on request.
    • Must be provided within 72 hours of employee request (excluding weekends and holidays). The employee can not be required to work with a chemical for which the information has not been provided after that 72 hours, until the info is provided.
initial and annual training for employees routinely exposed to toxic substances
Initial and annual training for employees routinely exposed to toxic substances.

The education and training program shall include, but may not be limited to, the following:

(a) the location of toxic substances to which the employee may be exposed;

(b) the properties of toxic substances to which employees may be exposed;

(c) the name or names of the toxic substance, including the generic or chemical name;

(d) the trade name of the chemical and any other commonly used name;

(e) the acute and chronic effects of exposure at hazardous levels;

(f) the symptoms of effects of exposure at hazardous levels;

(g) the potential for flammability, explosion and reactivity of such substance;

(h) appropriate emergency treatment;

(i) proper conditions for safe use and exposure to such toxic substance;

(j) procedures for cleanup of leaks and spills of such toxic substance.

goals of training
Goals of training
  • Name two laws that protect an employee’s right-to-know about hazardous materials in the workplace.
    • OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard
    • NYS’s Right-to-Know Law
  • Name two primary methods used to communicate chemical.
    • Labels
    • Safety Data Sheets

Name two ways chemicals, in general, can cause injury to the body.

    • There are four “routes of entry” – skin contact, inhalation, ingestion, and injection.
  • Who can help me get more information about the chemicals I work with
  • Where can I find info if a product I am handling can cause an increased risk of pregnancy loss or potentially cause cancer?
    • Info would be on a SDS. Discuss with your healthcare provider.
  • Where can I find the type of gloves I should be using?
    • Info would be on the SDS and often the label.