NOTICE TO EMPLOYEES
The Texas Hazard Communication Act (revised 1993), codified as Chapter 502 of the Texas Health and Safety Code, requires public employers to provide employees with specific information on the hazards of chemicals to which employees may be exposed in the workplace. As required by law, your employer must provide you with certain information and training. A brief summary of the law follows.
WORKPLACE CHEMICAL LIST
Employers must develop a list of hazardous chemicals used or stored in the workplace in excess of 55 gallons or 500 pounds. This list shall be updated by the employer as necessary, but at least annually, and made readily available for employees and their representatives on request.
MATERIAL SAFETY DATA SHEETS
Employees who may be exposed to hazardous chemicals shall be informed of the exposure by the employer and shall have ready access to the most current material safety data sheets, which detail physical and health hazards and other pertinent information on those chemicals.
EMPLOYEE EDUCATION PROGRAM
Covered employees shall receive training by the employer on the hazards of the chemicals and on measures they can take to protect themselves from those hazards, and shall be provided with appropriate personal protective equipment. This training shall be provided as needed. Employers shall also provide training to new or newly assigned employees before the employees work with or in a work area containing a hazardous chemical.
Employees shall not be required to work with hazardous chemicals from unlabeled containers except portable containers for immediate use, the contents of which are known to the user.
The following chemicals are exempt from coverage by this act: articles that do not normally release hazardous chemicals, food, drugs, cosmetics, hazardous waste, tobacco and tobacco products, wood or wood products, consumer products used in the same manner as normal consumer use, and radioactive waste.
REPORTING FATALITIES OR INJURIES
Employers must report to the department within 48 hours the occurrence of a chemical accident that results in one or more employee fatalities or results in the hospitalization of five or more employees.
Employees may file complaints with the Texas Department of Health at the toll free number below, and may not be discharged or discriminated against in any manner for the exercise of any rights provided by this act.
EMPLOYERS MAY BE SUBJECT TO ADMINISTRATIVE PENALTIES AND CIVIL OR CRIMINAL FINES RANGING FROM $50 TO $100,000 FOR EACH VIOLATION OF THIS ACT.
Further information may be obtained from:
Texas Department of Health 1-800-452-2791
Division of Occupational Health (512)834-6600
The Risk Management & Safety Office
This notice is subject to approval by the Texas Board of Health.