The intention of the Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (TOSHA) Hazard Communication/Right-To-Know law is to provide employees with information regarding chemicals used in the workplace so as to minimize hazardous exposure to the chemicals and to provide information to any responding emergency personnel to assist in protecting the health, safety, and welfare of the University Community. The TOSHA Hazard Communication / Right-To-Know law requires the employer to perform the following:
- Post adequate notification informing the employees about their rights under this law.
- Develop a chemical inventory of each of the hazardous materials used or stored in the workplace in excess of fifty-five (55) gallons or five hundred (500) pounds, submit this listing to the Tennessee Department of Labor, and maintain the listing for a period of thirty (30) years.
- Develop a library of appropriate Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS's) which will always be accessible to the employee.
- Develop a written program which addresses the labeling of containers, the training of employees as to the hazards of routine and non-routine tasks, and the maintaining and updating of the program.
- Develop a program of communication with any applicable emergency response agencies relative
to the hazardous chemicals and provide a description of their locations.
Written Hazard Communication Program
Adequate notification will be posted in the UTC Human Resources Department to inform the employees of their rights under the TOSHA Hazard Communication / Right-To Know law. Each University department head will assure that all hazardous chemicals in or leaving the workplace shall be properly labeled, tagged or marked in a manner which complies with the act and does not conflict with any other regulation pertaining to hazardous materials.
Every university department which purchases, uses, or otherwise handles hazardous chemicals in the workplace will be required to compile and submit an annually updated Hazardous Materials Inventory to the UTC Department of Safety & Risk Management. This inventory will be due in the Department of Safety & Risk Management no later than January 1 of each calendar year. At the request of the department, the Safety Office will send out copies of previously submitted inventories so that a review may be made and inventories modified as necessary. The attached "Hazardous Materials Inventory Form " will be the standard for submitting this information. Should departments need copies of this form, they can be obtained from the Department of Safety & Risk Management, 400 Palmetto St. or by calling 423-425-2297. In addition to an inventory, each University department which purchases, uses, or otherwise handles hazardous chemicals in the workplace will maintain a file of the appropriate MSDS of the chemicals or products used by employees of that respective department. If MSDS's are not provided by the chemical manufacturer or distributor upon delivery of the chemical, the department will request a MSDS in writing from the manufacturer or distributor. If the MSDS is unavailable, the employee may refuse to work with the hazardous chemical.
All employees will be provided training on an annual basis for the hazardous materials in their workplace. Training will also be repeated when new hazardous materials are introduced into the workplace. It is the responsibility of each University department to determine who, within that department, is required to receive training. There are many facets to this training, including having a basic knowledge of what constitutes a hazardous material, managing hazardous waste, storage requirements for hazardous waste, emergency response procedures, and administrative controls. Our office has developed a training program for each of these categories. Please review the information below and determine the departmental staff who require training.
Work Assignments That Require Training
Faculty who lead or otherwise conduct activities which require students to use hazardous or potentially hazardous materials. These uses may include conducting experiments or demonstrations, processing samples, providing patient care, construction of theater sets, for example.
Individuals, including faculty and students, who are involved in research which requires the use of hazardous materials or the production of hazardous waste.
Chemical Hygiene Officers
These individuals are assigned at each department or operating unit and charged with managing the handling of hazardous materials and hazardous waste for that department or unit.
Administrative staff who are responsible for ordering, receiving, dispensing, or otherwise managing or tracking hazardous materials, hazardous waste, universal waste, or other regulated waste.
Individuals involved in the construction, remodeling, or operations of campus facilities which require the use of hazardous or potentially-hazardous products. This includes Facilities craftsmen, grounds crew workers, pool maintenance workers, housing maintenance workers, central energy plant workers, and arena maintenance workers.
Individuals who operate boilers, chillers, swimming pools, or other significant installed systems.
Workers who are involved in installation or physical maintenance of I.T. assets.
Individuals involved in the cleaning or general maintenance of buildings, offices, or other facilities.
All sworn police officers and security staff members charged with patrolling the campus for the purpose of law enforcement and observing and reporting conditions on campus.
Police Communications Operators
These individuals require specific training in notification procedures for hazardous materials and hazardous waste releases.
Safety and Risk Management
Staff members assigned to Safety and Risk Management with the exception of administrative staff.
How is the Training Conducted?
Annually, Safety and Risk Management will schedule a number of training sessions open to the entire campus. Your team members are free to attend any of the sessions. In addition, we can conduct on-site training for larger groups.
In addition, some job classifications may require additional training specific to their particular circumstance. These jobs, for example, include individuals who may be exposed to blood-borne pathogens or individuals who order chemical products.
Training for Specific Products
In many cases, hazardous materials purchased for use by a department are used exclusively by that department. Therefore, training for the specific hazards of those materials will be the responsibility of the department. Safety and Risk Management can assist with training aids and provide guidance to you as you build this training. However, the training should ensure that the trainees know:
- Common name and chemical identity of hazardous materials in their work area.
- Health hazards, physical properties, and other risks related to each chemical.
- Protective equipment and the proper way to wear it.
- Potential symptoms related to each chemical in case of exposure.
- First aid steps to take in case of exposure.
- Emergency procedures to take in the event of a spill.
- How to deal with an accidental fire.
- Location of the department’s written safety plan, which should contain safety data sheets, emergency procedures, and other safety information pertinent to that location.
Documentation of Training
Employee training must be documented. Documentation should include an employee sign-in sheet that details employees trained, date of the training, and verification that each employee understands the information presented during the training. This documentation process must be repeated with every annual retraining session. Copies of the documentation should be sent to Safety and Risk Management.
Please contact Safety and Risk Management if you would like to schedule training for your department.
A copy of the hazardous chemicals inventory of the campus will be forwarded to the Chattanooga Fire Department for inclusion in their pre-fire planning. The chemical inventory will be an aid to firefighting by indicating the type of chemical and the quantity stored in a particular location. An on-site tour of the facility will be provided by the Fire Marshal's Office. The Fire Marshal's Office will be provided a copy of the written program as well as a copy of the emergency procedures.
The contractor's foreman or supervisor will be made aware of chemical hazards in the workplace that relates to the contractor's employees. The foreman or supervisor will be furnished a copy of the written program, and will be advised that all contractor's employees be trained as appropriate for their potential exposure. Also, contractors and vendors who bring hazardous materials onto the campus must notify the University of the presence of these materials. Notification to the University of the presence of these hazardous chemicals should be made to Safety & Risk Management.
Visitors will be made aware of the hazards associated with the workplace being visited. The visitor will be made aware of the written program and will be furnished a copy upon request. The visitor will be trained as appropriate for the potential exposure. Visitors to highly hazardous workplaces will be held to a minimum so as to reduce the chance of exposure to non-employees and thereby reduce potential liability to the University.
Employees are not required to work with hazardous chemicals, if not properly labeled. Employers must notify employees of areas of potential exposure. Employers may not retaliate against any employee for exercising rights under this act.
When an emergency event involving hazardous materials occurs, the emergency coordinator in charge will take appropriate action to prevent health or safety hazards. The emergency action will take the basic form as follows:
- The emergency coordinator will immediately employ corrective means which are available to control the situation. An example of this approach would be the use of an oil dry compound or vermiculite to control a spill of a flammable solvent. The appropriate response will be employed in reference to a particular situation in accordance with procedures listed on the materials MSDS. Coordinator will check material safety data sheets to determine the nature of the chemical involved.
- The coordinator when confronted with an event will immediately notify the University Campus Law Enforcement Dispatcher. The dispatcher will in turn notify other listed hazardous materials management agencies as directed by the Chief of Campus Law Enforcement or his designee. The coordinator will maintain continuous contact with Campus Law Enforcement personnel.
- The coordinator will take immediate steps to isolate the hazardous event and restrict movement
of individuals into the danger area. Appropriate actions include:
- Activating the building fire alarm system
- Dispatching a complete security response to assist in building evacuation
- Dispatching police vehicles to block streets within the exposure area.
- Instructing personnel as to the need for use of personal protective equipment.
- Campus Law Enforcement will advise the responding fire service agencies regarding specific hazards, life safety, reactivity of chemicals, need for P.P.E.s and other available data.
Any department generating a waste classified as hazardous by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, Division of Solid Waste will complete a HAZARDOUS WASTE REMOVAL form and submit it to the UTC Department of Safety & Risk Management. The Department of Safety & Risk Management will coordinate all hazardous waste pick-ups on campus and be responsible for manifesting, labeling, and packaging of any hazardous waste shipped off-site. Any material submitted for removal that does not have a UTC hazardous waste label attached will not be accepted for disposal. Label information will include:
- Generator's name
- Chemical constituents
- Date accumulation began
If you have questions about any of these topics, please contact Tim-Pridemore@utc.edu or call Tim at 423-425-2297.