Revised on
08/12/16 01:44pm

Hazard Communication

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Disclaimer: If you use hazardous chemicals in research applications, please implement the Laboratory Safety Manual.

California Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Cal/OSHA) requires employers to inform employees about hazards associated with hazardous chemicals that are present in the workplace. Departments who handle, use or store hazardous chemicals generally fall under one of two categories:

  • Laboratories (research and teaching) are subject to the requirements of Title 8, California Code of Regulations (CCR), section 5191, “Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Chemical in Laboratories” and are covered under the Chemical Hygiene Plan (CHP) requirements.
  • Industrial (Non-Laboratories) and manufacturing or commercial laboratories are subject to requirements of Title 8, CCR section 5194, “Hazard Communication” and are covered under the Hazard Communication Program requirements.

The Cal/OSHA Hazard Communication Standard, 8 CCR §5194, is now in alignment with the United Nation’s Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). GHS provides a consistent and agreed upon criteria for the classification of chemical hazards. It standardizes hazard information on chemical labels, hazard pictograms and safety data sheets so that information communicated from manufactures to end users is consistent.

The UC Davis Hazard Communication Program (HazCom) applies to industrial workplaces, manufacturing or commercial laboratories and activities such as animal husbandry areas, shops, custodial, craft centers, theaters and studios. The program requires employees to:

  • Maintain and have access to safety data sheets (formerly called material safety data sheets)
  • Understand hazards associated with chemicals they work with through labeling and other forms of warning
  • Receive safety training and other information to minimize the risks associated with the hazardous chemicals used in the work area