Description: This policy provides information about the Department of Human Services' (DHS) Hazard Communication Program for non-institutional settings. Employees at the Oregon State Hospital, Eastern Oregon Training Center, Eastern Oregon Psychiatric Center, State Operated Community Program group homes, and the Health Services’ Public Health Lab should refer to the hazard communication policy for their institution or worksite.
Purpose/Rationale: OSHA requires compliance with the Hazard Communication standard. Most DHS office employees (except those in institutions and the Health Division lab) are exempt from compliance with all the provisions of the OSHA Hazard Communication Rule because the chemical products to which they are exposed are non-hazardous or their exposure to hazardous products is non-routine or isolated. However, in the interest of having an informed workforce, DHS policy is to make available information regarding chemical products and education on hazard communication.
Applicability: All DHS employees in non-institutional settings.
Failure to Comply: Potential injury or illness of employees and other occupants. Possible citation by OSHA for violation of the Hazard Communication Standard. Disruption to the workplace caused by employees who do not know whether chemicals in use may be harmful.
- Product labeling
- Every primary and secondary container must be prominently and legibly labeled.
- Note appropriate hazard warnings.
- Indicate the name and address of the manufacturer.
- Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS)
- The local office will obtain a MSDS for all chemical products used in the workplace even if the frequency, quantity or manner in which it is used may exempt it from the OSHA Hazard Communication Standard.
- Purchasing agreements will be written to include the provision of MSDS’s with or prior to delivery of an item.
- The most recent MSDS’s shall be available to all employees in their work area for review. The manufacturer or distributor noted on the label can provide the MSDS.
- Many manufacturers make them available on-line.
- If an office is having trouble obtaining an MSDS, contact DHS Safety & Health.
- Employees shall be notified of the location of MSDS’s.
- Janitorial service vendors are required to provide a MSDS upon request.
- All MSDS's for purchased materials are available through the Department of Administrative Services, Operations and Maintenance 378-3664.
- OSHA requires a list of all chemical products with MSDSs.
- Employee Education and information
- Supervisors shall review the contents of this policy with employees as part of orientation.
- Employees who use chemical products shall be provided instruction on labeling, safe use, and emergency procedures.
- Employees who only handled sealed products, such as a toner cartridge, only need to be instructed in leak procedures in case of a leak or damage to the cartridge.
- DHS Safety & Health is available to assist with development or delivery of training for offices where several employees routinely use a number of different chemical products.
- If a supervisor believes an employee's exposure to a hazardous chemical may be more frequent than "non-routine" or "isolated" more extensive training may be required.
- Supervisors are advised to consult with DHS Safety and Health.
- Maintenance/Construction Projects At DHS Work Sites
Prior to the start of maintenance or construction projects which may result in exposure of employees to chemical products, arrangements will be made by either the local management or Facilities Coordinator to obtain an MSDS for such products from the contractor or vendor doing the work.
- The local manager will make the MSDS documents available to staff.
- The local manager or Facilities Coordinator shall review the MSDS.
- If the MSDS contains any warnings of physical (fire, etc.) or health hazards, advance planning shall be made to eliminate or reduce hazards to an acceptable level.
- Employees should be informed of the product and be given an opportunity to review the MSDS since some employees may have allergies to non-hazardous ingredients or find the odor annoying.
- Hazardous Non-Routine Tasks
- Periodically, employees may be required to perform hazardous non-routine tasks. Prior to starting work on such projects, each affected employee will be given information by their supervisor about hazards to which they may be exposed during such an activity. This information will include:
- Specific chemicals hazards.
- Protective/safety measures which must be utilized.
- Measures the Department of Human Services has taken to lessen the hazards and respond to emergencies.
- Response To Locations That May Contain Active Or Defunct Clandestine (Illegal) Drug-Manufacturing Operations (excluding Clandestine Drug Lab Cleanup Program Personnel)
- Employees shall:
- Never cross a police demarcation line in order to enter a home for the purpose of providing protective services. Follow the instructions of the emergency response site commander.
- Never remain in a home if they suspect that the home contains a drug manufacturing operation.
- Immediately report incidents as described in the “Employee safety procedure for clandestine drug-manufacturing operations”.
- Follow all safety procedures outlined in the “Employee safety procedure for clandestine drug-manufacturing operations”.
- Local DHS managers shall:
- Work with the local Multiple-disciplinary Team (MDT) to ensure that DHS employees will never be required to cross a police demarcation line unless specifically authorized and declared safe to do so by the response site commander and who has requested the services of DHS.
- Review this policy and the “Employee safety procedure for clandestine drug operations” with employees who do protective service work or who do home visits. In addition provide employees with the DHS “Clandestine (Methamphetamine or other illegal) Drug Manufacturing Operation Safety & Awareness Training”.
- Spills In DHS Worksites
- The person discovering a chemical or unknown substance spill will follow the steps outlined in the Emergency Action Handbook or equivalent document for their site.
- Complete a “DHS 2107A, Disease and Chemical Exposure Report”.
- DHS 2107A, DHS Disease and Chemical Exposure Report: Word or PDF
Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS): D ocument prepared by chemical manufacturer for hazard chemicals containing information on physical and health hazards and precautions for safe use.
Primary Container: Original container supplied by manufacturer or distributor.
Secondary Container: Container other than the original; e.g., spray bottle, coffee can, etc.
Non-routine or “isolated ”: OSHA provides “white out” and toner as examples.
- Also see Common
Terms for department-wide support services policies
- Version 1.0:
- 08/10/2006 - Initial Release
(Supercedes DHS Policy 50.20.05A, Hazard Communication Program).
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Oregon Department of Human Services
500 Summer St. NE E25, Salem, OR 97301-1098
Phone: (503) 945-5944
Fax: (503) 378-2897
TTY: (503) 947-5330