Hazard Communication Program                                       UPPS No. 04.05.05
Issue No. 4
Effective Date: 01/15/2008
Review: November 1 E5Y

                                                                                                Attachments I, II





01.01  This UPPS establishes a Hazard Communication Program (HCP) for complying with Chapters 502 (Hazard Communication Act) and 506 (Public Employer Community Right-To-Know Act) of the Texas Health and Safety Code.


The regulations of the Texas Department of State Health Services (TDSHS) are available online at www.dshs.state.tx.us


01.02  This UPPS constitutes the written hazard communication program for the university workplace. Departments using hazardous chemicals must develop a written program for the specific areas in which the Texas Hazard Communication Act (THCA) applies to their operation.


01.03  This UPPS establishes procedures for complying with provisions of the THCA regarding hazardous chemicals in the workplace and for providing information to university employees and to members of the community who may be exposed to those chemicals.


01.04  Environmental Health, Safety & Risk Management (EHSRM) has primary responsibility for assuring that the University complies with all applicable regulations and policies associated with hazard communications.


01.05  Throughout this UPPS, the term “hazardous chemicals” refers to any materials that may pose a physical hazard or a health hazard. This includes chemicals in all physical forms – liquid, solid, gas, vapor, fumes, and mist -- without regard to whether they are contained.


01.06  Due to security considerations, lists of hazardous chemicals and their Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) information should not be posted on a university or departmental web site without prior written approval of EHSRM.


01.07  Non-compliance with this UPPS can result in violations being charged against the University by regulatory agencies, as well as the assessment of fines and other costs. Disciplinary action may be taken against university personnel and students who do not comply with this policy and associated regulations.




02.01  Employee: A full-time or part-time faculty, staff, and student worker whose compensation is provided, controlled or dispensed by the University.


02.02  Extremely Hazardous Substance (EHS): material determined by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to be potentially hazardous to life and health if released. EHS’s are listed in 40 CFR 355 (Appendices A and B) and available online at http://yosemite.epa.gov/oswer/ceppoehs.nsf/Alphabetical_Results!OpenView&Start=1


02.03  Hazardous Chemical: Any substance that is a physical or health hazard, regardless of its form.


02.04  Hazard Communication Program: A written program that describes how the elements of the program will be met in the workplace and work areas. This program must include instructions on labeling, MSDS, employee information, and training.


02.05  Health Hazard: A chemical for which there is statistically significant evidence based on at least one study conducted in accordance with established scientific principles that acute or chronic health effects may occur in exposed employees.


02.06  Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC): A committee formed under the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act (EPCRA) section 301, and recognized by the State Emergency Response Commission for the purposes of emergency planning and public information. The University is covered by the Hays County LEPC.


02.07  Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS): A document containing chemical hazard and safe handling information that is prepared by the chemical manufacturer in accordance with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards.


02.08  Penalties: Sums of money prescribed by the THCA which constitute administrative penalties and civil or criminal fines. These may range from $50 to $100,000 for each violation of the THCA.


02.09  Physical Hazard: A chemical for which there is scientifically valid evidence that it is a combustible liquid, a compressed gas, explosive, flammable, an organic peroxide, an oxidizer, pyrophoric, unstable (reactive), or water-reactive.


02.10  Texas Tier Two Report: An annual report required to be sent to TDSHS on hazardous and extremely hazardous chemicals above a threshold reporting level. Copies of the report are made available to the LEPC and local fire department (San Marcos Fire Department). 


02.11  Work area:  A department, section, studio lab, room or defined space where hazardous chemicals are used and where employees are present.


02.12  Work Area Chemical List (WACL): A list of specific chemicals in use or stored in each work area. The list contains chemical name, common name, storage location, manufacturer/distributor name, catalog number pertaining to the chemical name, and quantity in use or storage. According to THCA Section 502.004 (f) chemicals present in Research Laboratories are exempt from reporting requirements if:


a.      The laboratory is under the direct supervision or guidance of a technically qualified individual;


b.      Labels on incoming containers of chemicals are not removed or defaced;


c.      The employer complies with section 502.006 (MSDS) and 502.009 (Training) of the THCA with respect to laboratory employees; and


d.      The laboratory is not used primarily to produce hazardous chemicals in bulk for commercial purposes.


Additionally, Chapter 506 (Public Employer Community Right-to-Know Act) excludes chemicals used in a research laboratory under the direct supervision of a technically qualified individual (506.004 (13) (D)).


02.13  Workplace: An establishment at one geographical location containing one or more work areas with or without buildings. Accordingly, the University is considered a workplace.


02.14  Workplace Chemical List (WPCL): A consolidation of all work area chemical lists (non-exempt) will comprise the University WPCL.




03.01  Applicability - The THCA applies to all university activities where employees may be exposed in the work area to hazardous chemicals under normal operating conditions or in foreseeable emergencies.


03.02  Workplace Chemical List (WPCL) - The THCA requires that employers compile and maintain a WPCL that contains information for each hazardous chemical that could be considered a health or physical hazard and which is normally used or stored in the workplace. The WPCL is a composite of work area chemical lists maintained in each department. The EHSRM will compile the University’s WPCL, as needed. As stated in Section 02.12, research laboratories are exempt from reporting chemical lists if they meet the conditions in 502.004 (f).


03.03  Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) - The THCA requires that an MSDS be readily available for review by employees. An MSDS shall be readily available for each hazardous chemical purchased or used in the work area. The MSDSs can be available through an electronic database or through manufacturers’ web sites. The web sites should be made readily available to all applicable work areas through signage and links to the MSDS information on the EHSRM web site.


03.04  Container Labels - The THCA requires that original labels on incoming containers of hazardous chemicals may not be removed or defaced.  Chemicals transferred to other containers other than those for immediate use must have labels affixed with the following information: chemical name, manufacturer name and address, health or physical hazard, target organ, effects and personal protective equipment (PPE) required. An employee must not be required to work with a hazardous chemical  which has been transferred to an unlabeled container   other than in a portable container when intended for immediate use by the employee who performed the transfer.


03.05  Training - The THCA requires an employer to provide an education and training program for employees who use or handle hazardous chemicals.  Departments that utilize hazardous chemicals must develop and administer a written hazard communication training program appropriate to their department’s operation (See Attachment I for format). At a minimum, employee training should include: applicable UPPSs, use of information provided on the MSDSs and chemical container labels, the location of hazardous chemicals present in the employees’ work areas, the physical and health effects of exposure, proper use of personal protective equipment, safe handling of hazardous materials, first aid treatment for exposure to hazardous chemicals and safety instruction on clean-up and disposal of hazardous chemicals. Training records will be kept with each work area documenting the initial training (prior to using the chemical) and the refresher training (at least annually).




04.01  Environmental Health, Safety & Risk Management - with regard to the University’s hazard communication program, EHSRM has the following responsibilities:


a.   Compilation and review of the departmental Work Area Chemical Lists (WACL) to comprise the University’s Workplace Chemical List (WPCL). EHSRM will update the WPCL throughout the year as additional hazardous chemicals are introduced in departments.  EHSRM will maintain each WPCL for 30 years from its preparation date.


b.   Preparation and submission of the annual Texas Tier Two Report and filing fee to the Texas Department of State Health Services (TDSHS). Provide the Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) and the San Marcos Fire Department (SMFD) with a copy of the Texas Tier Two Report.


c.   Orientation briefings for staff and faculty, including employees’ rights under the THCA, at the New Employee Orientation scheduled by the Human Resources office and New Faculty Orientation scheduled by Academic Development and Assessment.


d.   Dissemination of the “Notice to Employees” to apprise them of their rights under the THCA, as listed in Attachment II.


04.02  Department heads, account managers, and supervisors have the following responsibilities:  


a.   Written Training Program - Develop and implement a written hazard communications training program to address the use of hazardous chemicals in their work areas. See Attachment I for program format.


b.   Employee Rights - Post the "Notice to Employee" poster in the work area (Attachment II).


c.   Departmental Work Area Chemical List - Compile a Work Area Chemical List (WACL), not later than December 31 of each year.  Supervisors must make each WACL available in the work area and furnish a copy to EHSRM upon request. The WACL does not apply to research laboratories (see Section 02.12 of this UPPS).


1)   The person who compiles the WACL must date and sign it.

2)   The WACL must note chemicals present in excess of 55 gallons or 500 pounds at any one time.

3)   The WACL must indicate those chemicals currently on the EPA Extremely Hazardous Substance (EHS) list (see Section 02.02 of this UPPS).


d.   Departmental MSDSs - provide data in the work area for each chemical listed on the WACL and make the MSDSs available for review by employees. Alternatively, the department can post a web site where MSDSs are available online. The EHSRM web site provides links to several comprehensive MSDS web sites.


e.   Departmental Training - provide an orientation training session for new and newly-assigned employees, including student workers before they are allowed to work with, or in, a work area containing hazardous chemicals.


1)   Content of training programs must include: the THCA, WACL, and MSDS data as well as information on interpreting labels and MSDS; the location of hazardous chemicals; acute and chronic effects of chemicals, safe handling procedures of chemicals, personal protective equipment, and first-aid treatment of chemicals that employees will use.

2)   The employing department will maintain a record of each orientation training for five years and provide it to EHSRM upon request. 

3)   The supervisor should use a training roster to document the employee’s participation in the training. This should include: date of training, name of instructor, topics covered, name of the employee, and the employee’s signature attesting to their participation. Departments may use either the Employee Training Roster or Employees training sheet to comply with this requirement.

4)   The supervisor should provide annual refresher training on all hazardous chemicals used or stored in the work area. The supervisor may give training throughout the year so as to cover all new chemicals introduced in the work area.


f.    Ensure all containers in the workplace are properly labeled. Employees will not be required to work with a hazardous chemical from an unlabeled container.


g.   Provide their employees and students with appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) for the hazardous chemicals in use.


h.   Appoint an official “HCA contact” for each hazardous work area.


i.    Budget funds to adequately support the availability of proper personal protective equipment for employees and students exposed to hazardous chemicals.


j.    Account managers who contract for services for the University that are provided on campus must ensure the contractor has a written Hazard Communication Program to cover their employees who will be working at the university job site. Account managers who contract for such services must assure that their contracts with vendors contain wording to meet the requirements of the THCA. A WACL with associated MSDS’s must be maintained by the contractor at the university job site and be readily available upon request to university personnel. Failure to provide such information may constitute grounds for termination of the contractor.


04.03  Departmental HCA contact in each work area is responsible for: acting as liaison with the EHSRM; maintaining department Hazard Communication Program (HCP), WACL, and MSDS records; and ensuring that new employees are provided training before working with hazardous chemicals. 




05.01  The University must ensure that accessibility to information regarding hazardous chemicals is provided on request to the:


a.   San Marcos Fire Department for dealing with chemical hazards during an emergency; and


b.   Hays County Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC).


05.02  An annual Texas Tier Two Report will be sent to TDSHS reporting all hazardous chemicals which exceed the Tier Two reporting thresholds.  These include: 


a.   Extremely hazardous chemicals listed by the EPA in 40 CFR Part 355, Appendices A and B (see Section 02.02 of UPPS) which have a reporting limit at the Threshold Planning Quantity (TPQ) in pounds, or 500 pounds on site at any one time for any chemicals listed on the Extremely Hazardous Substances (EHS) list; and


b.   Non-EHS Chemicals - Hazardous chemicals that require an MSDS and that are not included on the EHS list. This reporting level is 10,000 pounds on site at any one time.




06.01  Chemicals in University laboratories are exempt from the requirements of Chapter 502 Hazard Communication Act (see Sec. 502.004(f)(2) and Chapter 506 Public Employer Community Right to Know Act (506.004(13)(D)). Both exemptions require that the laboratory is operated under the direct supervision or guidance of a technically qualified individual and if:


a.   Labels on incoming containers of hazardous chemicals are not removed or defaced;


b.   The laboratory is not used primarily to produce hazardous chemicals in bulk for commercial purposes;


c.   A current Material Safety Data Sheet is maintained for each hazardous chemical purchased and stored on site; (502.006) and


d.   An education and training program (documented by training rosters) is provided for employees who use or handle hazardous chemicals (502.009).  Refer to Section 04.02 e.


06.02  For purposes of the chemical exemption in laboratories, a technically qualified individual is someone who has been trained and may include:


a.   Faculty assigned to laboratories


b.   Laboratory assistants   


c.   Research and teaching assistants


d.   Laboratory services technicians


06.03  To be considered technically qualified for supervising laboratory operations, an individual must be trained in handling hazardous chemicals. Training shall include: applicable UPPSs, familiarity with the WACL and MSDS program for their department or area, as well as state and federal regulations and safety requirements.


06.04  This exemption for hazardous chemicals under the THCA and the Community Right-to-Know-Act may apply to the following university laboratories:


a.   College of Science, all laboratories


b.   College of Health Professions, Clinical Laboratory Science;


c.   Student Health Center;


d.   College of Applied Arts; and


e.   Other laboratories as designated by the EHSRM.




07.01    Reviewers of this UPPS include the following:


Position                                                          Date


Director, Environmental Health,                   November 1 E5Y

Safety & Risk Management


Environmental Health and Safety                November 1 E5Y

Specialists-Hazardous Waste


Dean, College of Science                            November 1 E5Y


Dean, College of Health Professions         November 1 E5Y




This UPPS has been approved by the following individuals in their official capacities and represents Texas State policy and procedure from the date of this document until superseded.


Director, Environmental Health, Safety & Risk Management; senior reviewer of this UPPS


Vice President for Finance and Support Services