Section: Safety and Security
Policy Number: 7-27
Policy Name: Hazardous Chemical Information
Date: October 2, 1985
Revisions: June 5, 1989; December 18, 1991; April 28, 1992; January 12, 2006; February 10, 2014

  1. PURPOSE

    The State of Delaware Hazardous Chemical Information Act, Title 16 Delaware Code, Chapter 24, requires employers to provide information regarding hazardous chemicals to employees and students who may be exposed to such chemicals in the workplace, laboratory, classroom, etc. This policy and its accompanying procedures establish mechanisms to assure compliance with the Hazardous Chemical Information Act.

    Effective Date

    This policy shall be effective on July 1, 1985.

  2. POLICY

    1. Responsibility

      1. Program coordination and audit functions shall be provided by the Department of Environmental Health and Safety.

      2. Responsibilities of departments, supervisors and instructors are as designated in specific sections of the policy.

      3. Funds and other resources necessary for the implementation and administration of this policy in accordance with the Hazardous Chemical Information Act, the development of training materials and other related activities shall be obtained and distributed by the Associate Vice President for Facilities.

    2. Hazardous Chemicals

      A hazardous chemical shall mean any element, chemical compound or mixture of elements and/or compounds which is a physical hazard as defined by OSHA Standard in 29 CFR Section 1910.1200(c) or a hazardous substance as defined by the OSHA Standard in 29 CFR Section 1910.1200(d)(3).

    3. Employees and Students

      This policy applies to employees and students who may be exposed to hazardous chemicals in the course of employment, education, or research through any route of entry (inhalation, ingestion, skin contact or absorption, etc.) and includes potential (e.g., accidental or possible) exposure under normal operating conditions or foreseeable emergencies. Personnel are not included unless their job performance routinely involves potential exposure to hazardous chemicals.

    4. Exemptions

      This policy does not apply to:

      1. Any article which is formed to a specific shape or design during manufacturing and does not release or otherwise result in exposure to a hazardous chemical under normal conditions of use;

      2. Products intended for human consumption;

      3. Retail and cafeteria food sale operations and all other retail trade operations, exclusive of processing and repair areas;

      4. Any food, food additive, color additive, drug or cosmetic, or distilled spirits, wines or malt beverages.

    5. Notice to Employees

      Departments shall post adequate notice, at locations where notices are normally posted, informing employees about their rights pursuant to the Hazardous Chemical Information Act. Notices will be provided by the Department of Environmental Health and Safety.

    6. Material Safety Data Sheets

      1. Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) are documents containing chemical hazard and safe handling information prepared in accordance with requirements of the OSHA Standard for such document.

      2. The Department of Environmental Health and Safety is the central repository for all current MSDSs. Outdated MSDSs will not be archived.

      3. Procurement Services shall request from chemical manufacturers and distributors a MSDS for each hazardous chemical purchased after January 1, 1985. For hazardous chemicals purchased on standing or blanket orders, the person responsible for administering the order shall request the MSDS. MSDSs shall be sent to:

        The University of Delaware
        Department of Environmental Health and Safety
        Room 132 General Services Building
        222 South Chapel Street
        Newark, Delaware 19716

      4. If an MSDS has not been provided by the manufacturer or distributor for chemicals on the Workplace Chemical List at the time the chemicals are received at the workplace, departments shall request one in writing from the manufacturer or distributor in a timely manner. See Workplace Chemical List section.

      5. Departments shall request from chemical manufacturers and distributors a MSDS for each hazardous chemical on the Workplace Chemical List purchased before January 1, 1985 and still on inventory.

      6. MSDSs shall be readily available, upon request, for review by employees or designated representatives and students.

      7. Departments should maintain copies of MSDSs for review by employees or designated representatives and students.

      8. Departments shall bear the responsibility for providing MSDSs for a hazardous chemical distributed or sold interdepartmentally or outside the University.

      9. Employees or students who desire a copy of the MSDSs for hazardous chemicals to which they may be exposed should contact their supervisor, instructor, or the Department of Environmental Health and Safety (ext. 8475).

    7. Labels

      Existing labels on containers of hazardous chemicals shall not be defaced.

    8. Workplace Chemical List

      1. Departments shall compile and maintain a Workplace Chemical List which shall contain the following information for each hazardous chemical normally used or stored in the workplace in excess of 55 gallons or 500 pounds.

        1. The chemical name or the common name used on the MSDS and/or container label; and

        2. The work area in which the hazardous chemical is normally stored or used.

      2. The Workplace Chemical List shall be updated annually and more often if necessary.

      3. The Workplace Chemical List may be prepared for a department as a whole or for each work area.

      4. The Workplace Chemical List shall be readily available to employees and their representatives. New or newly assigned employees shall be made aware of the Workplace Chemical List before working with hazardous chemicals or before working in an area containing hazardous chemicals.

      5. Copies of Workplace Chemical Lists shall be submitted to the Department of Environmental Health and Safety each year in December and whenever updated.

      6. All department workplace chemical lists are kept until the new year's list is submitted to the Department of Environmental Health and Safety. The departments are to discard the old year's list. The Department of Environmental Health and Safety submits all workplace chemical lists and associated MSDSs to Archives for inactive storage in the records center for a period in accordance with state and/or federal regulations.

    9. Emergency Information

      1. Each year in July and whenever updated, departments shall provide the Department of Environmental Health and Safety with the name(s) and telephone number(s) of knowledgeable representative(s) who can be contacted in case of an emergency.

      2. Upon request, emergency information, the Workplace Chemical List, and MSDSs shall be made available to the local Fire Chief.

    10. Employee and Student Training Programs

      1. Departments shall develop employee and student training programs as appropriate to meet the training requirements of the Act or use training programs developed by Environmental Health and Safety.

      2. Each department where any employee may be exposed to hazardous chemicals under normal operating conditions or foreseeable emergencies shall provide, at least annually, an education program for employees using hazardous chemicals. Additional information shall be provided whenever the potential for exposure to hazardous chemicals is altered or whenever new and significant information is received by the department concerning the hazard of a chemical.

        New or newly assigned employees shall be provided training before working with hazardous chemicals or before working in an area containing hazardous chemicals. Training shall be the responsibility of the supervisory staff.

      3. Undergraduate and graduate students registered in courses where they may be exposed to hazardous chemicals under normal operating conditions or foreseeable emergencies shall be provided training before working with hazardous chemicals or before working in an area containing hazardous chemicals. Training shall be the responsibility of the instructor. The use of hazardous material shall be directly supervised by a technically qualified individual.

      4. Students assigned to research projects shall be trained in accordance with the requirements for employees.

      5. The training program shall include the following information, as appropriate: the location of the hazardous chemicals; information on interpreting labels and Material Safety Data Sheets and the relationship between these two methods of hazard communication; an explanation of the acute and chronic effects of the chemicals and instruction on their safe handling, including necessary protective equipment to be used and appropriate first aid treatment; and general safety instructions on handling, clean up procedures, and disposal of hazardous chemicals. Generic training on classes of chemicals may be provided when numerous chemicals are involved.

      6. Departments and individuals providing training shall keep a record of the dates of training sessions and the names of the employees and/or students attending. Training documentation shall be submitted to the Department of Environmental Health and Safety within five (5) working days of the training session.

      7. The individual department retains their copies for the current year plus one additional year. Department copies are destroyed after two years. It is the responsibility of the Department of Environmental Health and Safety to transfer out of date training certificates to Archives for inactive storage in the records center for at least 30 years.

    11. Rights of Employees and Students

      1. Employees and students shall not be required to work with a hazardous chemical from an unlabeled container except for a portable container intended for immediate use by the employee or student who performs the transfer.

      2. Students working with unknowns shall not be denied access to MSDSs. However, the chemical name and formula or other proprietary information may be deleted.

      3. Employees and students who may be exposed to hazardous chemicals shall be informed of such exposures and shall have access to the Workplace Chemical List and Material Safety Data Sheets for the hazardous chemicals. In addition, employees and students shall receive training on the hazards of the chemicals and on measures they can take to protect themselves from those hazards.

      4. Departments shall provide, at no expense to employees, appropriate personal protective equipment to protect employees from exposures to hazardous chemicals. Students may be required to purchase routine personal protective equipment (e.g., eye protection, lab coats, etc.); however, departments shall provide specialized personal protective equipment (e.g., respirator, face protection, gloves, barrier creams, etc.).

      5. No department shall discharge, cause to be discharged, discipline, or in any manner discriminate against an employee or student who on his or her own behalf or on the behalf of others

        1. has filed a complaint,
        2. has assisted an inspector of the State of Delaware,
        3. has instituted or caused to be instituted any proceeding under or related to the Hazardous Chemical Information Act,
        4. has testified or is about to testify in any such proceeding or,
        5. has exercised any right afforded by the provision of the Act.

        Nor shall pay, position, seniority or other benefits be lost because of the exercise of any right provided by the Act.

    12. Penalties

      Departments found by the State to be in violation of the Hazardous Chemical Information Act will be given 14 days to comply. Departments not complying within 14 days following written notification of a violation are subject to civil penalties of not more than $500 per violation.

    13. Additional Information and Assistance

      Any person desiring additional information and assistance regarding this policy or the Hazardous Chemical Information Act should contact the Department of Environmental Health and Safety (ext. 8475) or view our web site at Environmental Heath and Safety.

Submitted by: Environmental Health and Safety