Staff HR Policy D-746.00
Institutional Effectiveness Criterion: Culture

Hazard Communication Program

The Michigan Right-to-Know Law went into effect February 25, 1987. This law was enacted to ensure that necessary information is provided to employers and employees who could be exposed to hazardous chemicals in their work place. It requires a communication program designed to safeguard the handling of hazardous chemicals through labeling of chemical containers, development and availability of Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS), the training of employees working with these chemicals, and a written hazard communication program developed by the employer. The law also provides for specific employee rights. They include:

  1. the right to be notified (by employer posting) of the location of Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS),
  2. the right to be notified (by employer posting) of new or revised MSDS no later than five working days after receipt, and
  3. the right to request MSDS from their employers.
    Employees are protected from any discrimination or discharge resulting from the request for information regarding hazardous chemicals under the Right-to-Know Law.
    The following written hazard communication program has been established for Northwestern Michigan College.
    1. Hazard Determination
      NMC will rely on MSDS from material suppliers to meet hazard determination requirements.
    2. Labeling
      1. The supervisor ordering the chemicals will be responsible for seeing that all containers coming in are properly labeled.
      2. All incoming labels should be checked for identity, hazard warning, and the name and address of the responsible party (ordinarily the manufacturer or distributor).
      3. Each supervisor shall be responsible to see that all portable containers used in his or her work area are labeled with identity and hazard warning.
    3. Material Safety Data Sheets
      1. The purchasing office will be responsible for maintaining the master MSDS file.
      2. Copies of MSDS for all hazardous chemicals to which departmental employees may be exposed will be kept on file in each departmental office.
      3. MSDS will be available for review to all employees during each work shift.
      4. The purchasing office and the ordering supervisor will request MSDS on all purchase orders. A file of follow-up letters shall be maintained for all shipments received without MSDS.
      5. The purchasing office shall provide the ordering supervisor with the required Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Act (MIOSHA) Right-to-Know poster and postings notifying employees of new or revised MSDS within five days of receipt of a new or revised MSDS. If the material is shipped directly to the department, the ordering supervisor will be responsible to see that the proper postings are made.
    4. Employee Information and Training
      1. The departmental supervisor shall coordinate and maintain records of Right-to-Know training conducted in his or her area.
      2. Before starting work, each new employee will receive information and training from his or her supervisor on:
        1. chemicals and hazards in the work areas
        2. how to lessen or prevent exposure to these hazardous chemicals
        3. what the College has done to lessen or prevent worker's exposure to these chemicals
        4. procedures to follow if exposed to these chemicals, an
        5. how to read and interpret labels and MSDS.
          Each affected employee will sign a statement that he or she has received the written materials outlined above and received safety training.
      3. Before any new, hazardous chemical is introduced into an area, each employee will be given information as outlined above. The department supervisor will be responsible for seeing that the MSDS on the new chemical is available.
      4. Safety meetings will be held as the need arises. Employees may request that a meeting be held if they feel a problem or question is in need of resolution.

    5. Hazardous Non-routine Tasks
      No employee will begin work in a confined space or on any non-routine task without first receiving a safety briefing from the section supervisor.

    6. Informing Contractors
      It is the responsibility of the departmental supervisor to provide contractors and their employees with the following information prior to entering the work site:

      1. hazardous chemicals to which they may be exposed while on the job site,

      2. measures the employees may take to lessen the risks,

      1. steps the College has taken to lessen the risks,

      2. that MSDS for all hazardous chemicals are on file in the purchasing office, and

      3. procedures to follow if they are exposed.

    7. List of Hazardous Chemicals
      A list of hazardous chemicals used in each department will be kept on file in each departmental office. Further information on each hazardous chemical can be obtained by using the MSDS located in the departmental office or the purchasing office.

If any provision(s) of this policy or set of bylaws conflicts with laws applicable to Northwestern Michigan College, including the Community College Act of 1966, the Freedom of Information Act, or the Open Meetings Act, as each may be amended from time to time, such laws shall control and supersede such provision(s).

Authorized on 12/29/09