This Cal/OSHA standard [Title 8 CCR §5194] requires employers to provide information to employees about the chemicals and other hazardous substances to which they may be exposed at work by providing Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs), chemical labels, and training.
MSDSs. Manufacturers of products containing hazardous ingredients must prepare MSDSs for those products and distribute them to purchasers (such as employers). The MSDS identifies the manufacturer, contents, toxicity, and safety hazards of the chemical product. It describes routes of exposure (skin, inhalation, or ingestion) and explains how to prevent health problems. Employers must have an up-to-date MSDS for each hazardous product they use and must make MSDSs available to employees. Employers can get MSDSs by calling their chemical supplier, or, in some cases, from the internet.
Chemical Labels. Employers must make sure that all products with hazardous ingredients are properly labeled. Original labels must include the identity of the hazardous substance (matching the corresponding MSDS), appropriate hazard warnings, and the name and address of the manufacturer or importer. This labeling requirement applies to all containers, even those into which a smaller amount of the chemical has been poured.
Training. Employers are required to train workers about the hazardous substances used at work, their health effects, how to work safely with them, how to read an MSDS, and where the MSDSs are kept. The training must also cover how accidental chemical releases are detected and what emergency procedures should be followed in case of a spill or leak.
Employers are required to describe in writing the elements of the workplace’s hazard communication program and how the workplace will comply with this Cal/OSHA standard. This written program must be available at the worksite and communicated to all affected workers.
Cal/OSHA Guide to the Hazard Communication Regulation describes the employer’s responsibilities in establishing, implementing, and maintaining a Hazard Communication Program.
Basic information about MSDSs -- also has an MSDS locator.