Right-to-Know and Hazard Communication

The Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) as found in 29 CFR 1900.1200 is based on a simple concept—that employees have both a need and a right to know the hazards and identities of the chemicals they are exposed to when working.  Such employees will make knowledgeable decisions and support protective measures such as product substitutions, engineered improvements and use administrative controls and Personal Protective Equipment.  In addition to the federal OSHA Hazard Communication Standard, NYS Public Sector employees are also subject to the NYS Right-to-Know law and regulations.  Together these require Material Safety Data Sheets for all products used on the SUNY Geneseo campus. They also require all product containers, including those in small containers, be labeled with contents and any potential health hazards. 



The Employee Resource Information Center of the NYS Governor's Office of Employee Relations has developed an interactive web-based course detailing the Right-to-Know/Hazard Communication requirements.  Completing this course, including the written confirmation, is one option that will fulfill the annual training required for all campus employees. Campus employees choosing to fulfill this requirement by taking this interactive course must submit a copy of the completed confirmation form to the EHS Department.  If employees choose to take the interactive training, they must also have the following signed off by their supervisor and send a completed copy to EHS:


Name______________________  Dept._________________


 Supvsr/ Dept. Chair Initials


I am aware of the health and physical hazards of the hazardous materials present in my workplace.

I am aware of the methods and observations I can use to detect the presence or release of hazardous materials, including monitoring, odor, appearance, chemical reaction, etc.

I have discussed with my supervisor/department chair the measures I can take to protect myself, including appropriate work practices, emergency procedures and personal protective equipment (PPE). 

I am aware that different departments on campus use a variety of hazardous materials and that if I am required to work in a different area, I can request information on the hazardous materials used there from those departments.

If I have a question on the information contained on an MSDS or container label, I know I can ask my supervisor/department chair and clarification will be provided.