The Hazard Communication Program (HAZCOM) is designed to maintain a healthy work environment by increasing employee awareness about the hazards of the chemicals that they work with. A Hazard Communication Program is required by Cal/OSHA.

Safety Data Sheets (SDS)

A major component of the Hazard Communication program is Safety Data Sheets (SDS). These sheets are a valuable source of information on physical properties and hazards of chemicals. The manufacturer or distributor of hazardous substances is required to provide a Safety Data Sheet (SDS) for every substance that they distribute. The manufacturer is often the best source of the SDS, since the information provided by the manufacturer is usually the most current and most accurate. Additionally, Cal/OSHA requires that MSDS must be manufacturer specific. Additional SDS resources are available.

 An SDS should be obtained for each and every one of the chemicals that is used by your department, division, laboratory or shop. Each SDS has to be specific to the product that it describes and specific to the manufacturer of the substance.

Environment, Health and Safety recommends that each division or lab which uses chemicals place one person in charge of maintaining the Material Safety Data Sheets. This person is responsible for making sure that there is a SDS on file for every hazardous substance in the area. The MSDSs need to be kept in a location where everyone in the division or lab group can access the information. EH&S recommends filing MSDS in a brightly colored binder, labeled “SDS”, and located in an area where safety and emergency information is kept. Material Safety data Sheets are available on-line through the SDS page.

Container Labeling

All containers of chemicals at UCR should be labeled as to the contents even if it is known what is in the container.

Labels on purchased chemicals must contain:

  • The identity of the chemical
  • Signal Word
  • Hazard Statement(s)
  • Pictogram(s)
  • Precautionary Statement(s) and
  • The name of the company that manufactured or distributed the chemical

Chemical Inventory

According to federal, State and local law, UC Riverside must maintain an inventory of existing hazardous materials at campus locations (labs, maintenance facilities, research stations, etc.). The Environmental, Health & Safety (EH&S) Hazardous Materials Manager coordinates the campus chemical inventory program. Persons in charge of labs and chemical storage locations must periodically submit a current inventory of their hazardous materials. In addition, inventories must be updated if there is a significant change such as a move to a new room or a significant change in inventory (e.g., acquisition of new hazardous chemicals or a greater than 10% change in your original inventory volumes).

For More Information

UCR - Campus Emergency Contact Infromation System (labeling) must have UCR Net ID

Cal-OSHA 5194 Hazard Communication Standard

Federal OSHA - Hazard Comunication Index