Hazard Communication Program

Policy Objective

California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH) is committed to protecting the health, safety and well-being of students, employees, visitors and the surrounding community. The program policy ensures employees are informed of the health and safety risks and hazards associated with substances and agents they use or may be exposed to. 

Employees who work wiht potentially hazardous substances or harmful agents shall be informed about the hazards of those substances or agents and shall be trained on precautions necessary to prevent exposure, as well as what to do if accidentally exposed.

The Program applies to all University departments, and their respective employees, that use or store hazardous substances.

This program policy complies with Cal/OSHA''s requirement to develop and implement a written hazard communication program as defined in the regulation below. Environmental Health & Safety (EHS) administers and oversees implementation.

California Code of Regulation, Title 8, Section 5194



Chemical - Any substance, or mixture of substances.

Chemical name - The Scientific designation of a chemical in acccordance with the nomenclature system developed by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) or the Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) rules of nomenclature, or a name which will clearly identify the chemical for the purpose of conducting a hazard classification.

Classification -  Identification of relevant data regarding the hazards of a chemical; review of those data to ascertain the hazards associated with the chemical; and decision regarding whether the chemical will be classified as hazardous according to the definition of hazardous chemical in this section. In addition, classification for health and physical hazards includes the determination of the degree of hazard, where appropriate, by comparing the data with the criteria for health and physical hazards.

Container - Any bag, barrel, bottle, box, can cylinder, drum, reaction vessel, storage tank, tank truck, or the like that contains a hazardous chemical. Pipes or piping systems are not considered to be containers.

Emergency - An occurrence such as, but not limited to, equipment failure, rupture of containers, or failure of control equipment, which may or does result in a release of hazardous chemical into the workplace.

Exposure or Exposed - any situation arising from work operation where an employee may ingest, inhale, absorb through the skin or eyes, or otherwise come into contact with a hazardous chemical.

Hazard category - The division of criteria within each hazard class, e.g., oral acute toxicity and flammable liquids include four hazard categories. These categories compare hazard severity within a hazard class and should not be taken as a comparison of hazard categories more generally.

Hazard class - The nature of the physical or health hazards, e.g., flammable solid, carcinogen, oral acute toxicity.

Hazardous chemical - Any chemical which is classified as physical hazard or a health hazard, a simple asphyxiant combustible dust, pyrophoric gas, a hazard not otherwise classified, or is included in the List of Hazardous Substances prepared by the Director pursuant to Labor Code seciton 6382. 

Health hazard - A chemical which is classified as posing one of the following hazardous effects: acute toxicity (any route of exposure); skin corrosion or irritation; serious eye damage or eye irritation; respiratory or skin sensitization; germ cell mutagenicity; carcinogenicity; reproductive toxicity; specific target organ toxicity (single or repeated exposure); or aspiration hazard.

Hazard materialare products that are capable of posing a significant risk to health, safety or property when transported by air, rail, ground, or sea.

Hazard statement - A statement assigned to a hazard class and category that describes the nature of the hazard(s) of a chemical, including, where appropriate, the degree of hazard.

Hazard substance – Includes hazardous material and/or waste.

Hazardous waste – a waste with properties that make it dangerous or capable of having a harmful effect on human health or the environment.

Immediate use - The hazardous chemical will be under the control of and used only by the person who transfers it from a labeled container and only within the work shift in which it is transferred.

Label - An appropriate group of written printed or graphic information elements concerning a hazardous chemical that is affixed to, printed on, or attached ot the immediate container of a hazardous chemical, or to the outside packaging.

Label elements - The specified pictogram, hazard statement, signal word and precautionary statement for each hazard class and category.

Mixture - A combination or a solution composed of two or more substances that do not react.

Physical hazard - A chemical that is classified as posing one of the following hazardous effects: explosive; flammable (gases, aerosols, liquids, or solids); oxidizer (liquid, solid or gas); self-reactive; pyrophoric (liquid or solid); self-heating; organic peroxide; corrosive to metal; gas under pressure; combustible liquid; waster-reactive; or in contact with water emits flammable gas.

Pictogram - A composition that may include a symbol plus other graphic elements, such as a border, background pattern, or color, that is intended to convey specific information about the hazards of a chemical. Eight pictograms are designated under this standard for application to a hazard category.

Precautionary statement - A phrase that describes recommended measures that should be taken to minimize or prevent adverse effects resulting from exposure to a hazardous chemical, or improper storage or handling.

Product identifier - The name or number used for a hazardous chemical on a label or in the SDS. It provides a unique means by which the user can identify the chemical. The product identifier used shall permit cross-references to be made among the list of hazardous chemicals required in the written hazard communication program, the label and the SDS.

Safety data sheet (SDS) - Written or printed material concerning a hazardous chemcial that is prepared in accordance with section 8 CCR 5194(g).

Signal word - A word used to indicate the relative level of severity of hazard and alert the reader to a potential hazard on the label. The signal words used in this section are "danger" and "warning." "Danger" is used for the more sever hazards, while "warning" is used for the less severe.

Specific chemical identity - The chemical name, Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) Registry Number, or any other information that reveals the precise chemical designation of the substance.

Substance - Chemical elements and their compounds in the natural state or obtained by any production process, including any additive necessary to preserve the stability of the product and any impurities deriving from the process used, but excluding any solvent which may be separated without affecting the stability of the substance or changing its composition.


EHS is responsible for the following:

  • Maintain the "Chemical Inventory" for all hazardous matierals used by and stored on campus.
  • Conduct training for employees who work with, or are around, hazardous materials and/or waste.
  • Provide support to manager on non-routine tasks.
  • Maintain training records.
  • Periodically review the Program for effectiveness and update as necessary.

University departments are responsible for the following:

  • Maintain a Chemical Inventory of all Hazardous Materials used or stored in their respective department and provide this list to EHS annually.
  • Review SDSs upon the introduction of a new hazardous material to the workplace with employees for any significant danger to health and safety.
  • Ensure that all employees within the department have access to SDSs in MSDSOnline.
  • Notify EHS of any extremely hazardous material received by the department and provide EHS with a copy of any new SDSs.
  • Refuse receipt of any hazardous material that is not properly labeled or does not have a SDS.
  • Obtain copies of all SDSs from contractors who bring hazardous material into the workplace (if applicable).
  • Inform EHS immediately of any accidental release of a hazardous substance, regardless of quantity.

Supervisors are responsible for the following:

  • Identify employees who will use or work near hazardous substances and contact EHS to enroll the employees into the HAZCOM Program
  • Identify employees who will perform hazardous non-routine tasks and contact EHS for support.
  • Make SDSs readily avaiable to employees during work.
  • Ensure all hazardous substance(s) and pipe(s) are properly labeled.
  • Enforce the proper handling, transportation, and storage of hazardous substances by authorized employees.
  • Inform EHS immediately of any accidental release of a hazardous substance, regardless of quantity.

Employees are responsible for the following:

  • DO NOT handle a hazardous substance unless properly trained.
  • Read the SDS prior to handling a hazardous material.
  • Properly handle and store hazardous material(s) in accordance with instruction and training provided by a manger, supervisor, principal investigator, or EHS.
  • Ensure that secondary containers used by the employee are properly labeled.
  • Inform the supervisor immediately of any personal health problems that could be aggravated by handling, or being near, hazardous substances.
  • Inform the supervisor immediately of any accidental release of a hazardous substance, regardless of quantity.
  • Contact EHS if SDSs are not made readily available.

Only staff designated by their Supervisor may handle hazardous substances. Employees must complete training prior to handling any hazardous substance.

Labeling Containers

All containers of hazardous substances in the University shall be labeled. All label, or other forms of warning must be legible, in English, and prominently displayed on the container, or readily available in the work area throughout each work shift (if the container is to attach a label).

University departments are responsible for the following:

  • Ensure all containers of hazardous material received, and used in their department operations are properly labeled, tagged, or marked.
  • Ensure all containers of hazardous waste generated by their department operations are properly labeled, tagged, or marked.
  • Refuse receipt from manufacturer/distributer of any container of hazardous material that is not labeled.

Employees are responsible for the following:

  • Must never transfer product from a container that is not labeled.
  • Properly label Secondary containers.

Primary Containers

Primary container means the original containers in which the hazardous substance was shipped/received. Primary containers shall be labeled, tagged or marked with the following information:

  • Product identifier.
  • Signal word.
  • Hazard statement(s).
  • Pictogram(s).
  • Precautionary statement(s).
  • Name, address, and telephone number of the manufacturer, importer or other responsible party.

Secondary Containers

Secondary container means any container (e.g., spray bottle, pan, etc.) to which a hazardous substance is transferred from the original, labeled container. Secondary containers shall be labeled, tagged or marked with the following information:

  • Product identifier or chemical name in English (exactly as it is written on the SDS)
  • Words, pictures, symbols, or combination thereof, which provide at least general information regarding the hazards of the substance.
  • Exception: Portable containers for immediate use during a single shift by a single employee who performs the transfer himself/herself are exempt form the labeling requirement.
Chemical Spills

Non-lab area emergencies may result from a variety of factors, including serious injuries, fires and explosions, spills, and exposures, and natural disasters. Before beginning any non-lab area task, know what to do in the event of an emergency situation. Identify the location of safety equipment, including first aid kits, eye washes, safety showers, fire extinguishers, fire alarm pull stations, and spill kits. Plan ahead and know the location of the closet fire alarms, exits, and telephones in your non-lab area. The University's Emergency Response Guide, posted in each non-lab area, provides an overview of emergency response procedures.

For all incidents requiring emergency response, call University Policy at 911 from a campus phone or (310) 243-3333 from a cell phone.

To obtain support from Facilities services from 8:00 AM - 7:00 PM Monday through Friday, employees should call the work control desk directly at Ext. 3804.

After hours, employees should call campus police at Ext. 3639.

Chemical Spills

Chemical spills must be cleaned up immediately only by trained personnel. Clean up the spill if the following conditions are met:

  • You know what the chemical is and the hazards associate with it
  • You know the chemical is a low hazard
  • You understand the clean-up protocols and you have adequate clean up materials in the non-lab area
  • You have the proper PPE to do the clean-up
  • You feel comfortable and feel that no personal injuries will result from cleaning the spill

DO NOT clean up the spill if:

  • You do not know what the chemical is and the hazards associate with
  • The chemical has a high hazard
  • A secondary situation exists that makes the area unsafe (such as a fire)
  • The chemical hazard is HIGHLY "toxic" For example, do not attempt to clean up the following toxic chemicals:
Aromatic AminesHydrofluoric AcidCyanidesOrganic Halides
HydrazineCarbon DisulfideNitro-cSmpounds


Chemical spills become EMERGENCIES when:

  • The spill results in a release to the environment (e.g.,sink or floor drain)
  • The material or its hazards are unknown
  • Non-lab area staff cannot safely manage the hazard because the material has a high degree of danger, or the quantity is too large

Small Chemical Spill:

A small spill is generally defined as less than 1 liter or 1 kilogram of chemical that is not highly toxic, does not present a significant fire or environmental hazard, and is not in a public area such as a common hallway. A small chemical spill should take less than 15 minutes to clean up. Small chemical spills can be cleaned up by non-lab area personnel who have been trained in spill clean-up and with the appropriate materials. Some factors to consider when doing the cleaning are:

  • The size area and quantity of the spill
  • The availability of clean up equipment in the non-lab area
  • The degree of danger, the toxicity and hazardous properties of the chemical
  • Personal exposure to the chemical
  • Exposure to surrounding people in the area

Small Chemical Procedures:

  • Alert people in the surrounding immediately of the spill and evacuate all non-essential persons from the spill area
  • Help anyone who has been contaminated.Use the emergency shower/eyewash and flush skin or eye for at least 15 minutes
  • Work with another person to clean-up the spill. Do not clean-up a spill alone
  • Check the chemical's SDS and/or container label to understand the recommended procedures for cleaning up the spill and the PPE to wear. Contact CSUDH EHS with questions or to request additional support at 310 243 3000
  • Wear the appropriate PPE as recommended by the chemical's SDS. At a minimum, eye protection and lab coat must be work during spill clean-up
  • Turn off all ignition sources (flames, electrical devices) near the spill area
  • Confine the spill to small area using spill kit contents and prevent others from entering the spill area
  • Use the appropriate kit to neutralize and absorb inorganic acids and bases. Collect the residue in a clear plastic bag, place in the container, label the container with contents, and dispose it as hazardous chemical waste.
    • DO NOT dispose of the chemical in the sink or in the trash can
  • For other chemicals, absorb spill with vermiculite, dry sand, or diatomaceous earth
  • Clean the spill area with soap and a small amount of water (if compatible with the chemical that was spilled). Handle the waste water as chemical waste
  • Collect the residue and place it in a clear plastic bag. Double bag the waste and label the bag as hazardous waste. Contact EHS at 310 243 3012 to schedule a hazardous waste pick-up

Large Chemical Spill:

Large chemical spills include spills of 1 liter or 1 kilogram or more, spills of any quantity of highly toxic chemicals, or chemicals in public areas or adjacent to drains.  Large chemical spills require emergency response.  If the spill presents a situation that is immediately dangerous to life or health (IDLH) or presents a significant fire risk, activate a fire alarm, evacuate the area and wait for emergency response to arrive.

DO NOT attempt to clean up a large chemical spill.

  • Activate the fire alarm if need be
  • Notify people in the area immediately of a chemical spill or release
  • Move any injured or contaminated person(s) in the area.
    • Use the emergency shower/eyewash and flush skin or eye for at least 15 minutes if it is safe to do so
  • Turn off all ignition sources (flames, electrical devices) if it is safe to do so
  • Evacuate the area and close the door. Avoid walking through contaminated areas or breathing vapors of the spilled material. Warn others not to enter
  • Call University Police by dialing 911 from a campus phone (310) 243 3333 from a cell phone
  • Notify EHS by dialing 310 243 3000
  • Any employee with known contact with a particularly hazardous chemical may have to shower as soon as possible, or contraindicated by physical injuries
  • Complete a CSUDH Incident Report and Investigation Form and following incident reporting procedures

Chemical Spill during Transportation, outside the non-lab area

Chemical Transportation is performed in accordance with the CSUDH Hazardous Materials and Hazardous Waste Transportation Procedures. Small spills that occur within non-lab area buildings where there is access to a spill kit, SDSs, and proper PEE may be cleaned as described above. For chemicals spill during transportation, outside of non-lab area spaces, perform the following:

  • Secure the area and notify bystanders of the spill.
    • DO NOT let anyone get near the spill
  • Contact University Policy by dialing 911 from a campus phone or (310) 243 3333 from a cell phone and follow the large spill procedures above as appropriate
Labeled/Unlabeled Pipes

Above-ground pipes transporting hazardous substances (gases, vapors, liquids, semi-liquids, or a plastics) shall be identified in accordance with 8 CCR 3321, and "Identification of Piping".

Other above-ground pipes that do not contain hazardous substances but may have associated hazards if disturbed or cut (e.g., steam lines, oxygen lines) shall be addressed as follows:

Before employees enter the area and initiate work, Steven Chamberlain, Senior Project Manager of Facilities Planning, Design and Construction will inform them of:

  • The location of the pipe or piping system or other known safety hazard.
  • The substance in the pipe.
  • Potential hazards.
  • Safety precautions.
Safety Data Sheets (SDS)

A Safety Data Sheet (SDS), previously referred to as a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS), is a detailed document summarizing the hazards associated with a specific chemical or substance, SDSs also include the following information:

  • Safe handling and proper storage.
  • Exposure controls and appropriate personal protection equipment.
  • First-aid measures.
  • Measures to take in response to an accidental release.
  • Physical and chemical properties; stability and reactivity.
  • Safe methods for disposal.

In accordance with Cal/OSHA regulations, and to be consistent with the Globally Harmonized System (GHS), the following section numbers and headings, along with associated information under each heading, is required, at a minimum, on every new SDS received from a manufacturer:

  • Section 1, Identification
  • Section 2, Hazards(s) identification
  • Section 3, Composition/information on ingredients
  • Section 4, First-aid measures
  • Section 5, Fire-fighting measures
  • Section 6, Accidental release measures
  • Section 7, Handling and storage
  • Section 8, Exposure controls/personal protection
  • Section 9, Physical and chemical properties
  • Section 10, Stability and reactivity
  • Section 11, Toxicological information
  • Section 12, Ecological information
  • Section 13, Disposal considerations
  • Section 14, Transport information
  • Section 15., Regulatory information
  • Section 16, Other information, including date preparation or last revision. The CSUDH campus uses MSDS.Online to provide employees with SDSs for all hazardous products and chemicals used on campus. See Appendix A for information on how to access MSDSOnine.

The CSUDH campus uses MSDSOnline to store and provide employees with SDSs for all hazardous products and chemicals used on campus. See Appendix A for information on how to access MSDSOnline.

Employee Information and Training

The EHS department shall be notified by a supervisor, manager, or director/dean to provide employees with effective information and training on hazardous substances. Managers and supervisors must provide employees with information on the hazardous substances in their work area at the time of their initial assignment. A supervisor or manager will inform employees whenever a new chemical hazard is introduced into their work area.

Employee information and training shall include the following:

  • Inform employees of the requirements contained in the Hazard Communication regulation, including their rights under the regulation.
  • Inform employees of any operation in their work area where hazardous substances are present.
  • The location and availability of the written Hazard Communication Program and SDSs.
  • The physical properties and health effects of the hazardous substances in their work area.
  • The methods and observations that may be used to detect the presence or release of a hazardous substance in their work area.
  • Measures they can take to lessen or prevent exposure to hazardous substances, such as the use of engineering controls, appropriate work practices, emergency procedures, and the use of personal protective equipment.
  • Steps the University has taken to lessen or prevent exposure to these substances.
  • Emergency and fist aid procedures for employees who are exposed to hazardous substances.
  • How to read labels and review a SDS to obtain appropriate hazard information.
  • How to obtain, or have their personal physician or collective bargaining agent obtain, information contained in a SDS.
  • That no discriminatory action may be take against an employee for exercising their rights under the act.

Employees should contact their Supervisor/Manager or EHS for any questions regarding training

Chemical Inventory

The Chemical Inventory of hazardous materials shall contain the following information:

  • Product identifier (i.e.,chemical name that is referenced on the SDS)
  • Location/Work area in which chemical is used/stored

University departments shall maintain a list of all hazards substances present in their department. The list should be updated whenever new substances are added to the workplace. All departments shall send a copy of their Chemical Inventory to EHS on a annual basis. Department shall send updated lists to EHS on an annual basis. An example of a Chemical Inventory is included in Appendix B.

Based on the Chemical Inventory provided by each department, EHS shall maintain a list of all hazardous materials present on University property. The Chemical Inventory shall be maintained in the CSUDH EHS drive.

Hazardous Non-Routine Tasks

Time shall be taken to provide information and training to employees performing non-routine tasks. Should a hazardous non-routine task need to be performed, each affected employee shall be trained by EHS on the following:

  • Specific hazards.
  • Protective and safety measures which must be utilized.
  • Measures the University has taken to lessen the hazards, including the following: ventilation, respirators, presence of another employee and emergency procedures.
Online Training

CSUDH provides employees with access to a variety of health and safety topics through an online learning management system (LMS) hosted by SumTotal. Courses titles related to Hazard Communication include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Chemical Process Safety
  • Emergency Response and Spill Control
  • Hazard Communication
  • Hazard Communication: An Employee's right to know
  • Hazardous Material Handling and Storage
  • Hazardous Waste Generator (RCRA)
  • Laboratory Safety
  • Safety Data Sheets
  • Globally Harmonized System (GHS)
  • PPE: Personal Protective Equipment
  • Workplace Inspections

The training can be accessed through a single sign-on from the following link:

  • The supervisor or manager will communicate to employee what curriculum must be completed
  • EHS will assign the curriculum to the employee after communication by the employee's supervisor or manager
  • A report will be generated to notify manager or supervisor if the employee has completed the curriculum in time.

Additional information is available. Should you have any questions, please contact EHS at 310 243 3000 or ehs@csudh.edu


To ensure that outside contractors work safely on campus properly and to protect our employees from chemicals used by outside contractors, Steven Chamberlain, Senior Project Manager of Facilities Planning, Design and Construction is responsible for giving and receiving the following information from contractors:

  • Hazardous substances to which they may be exposed while on the job site
  • Contractors will provide a list of hazardous materials they will be bringing onto the campus
    • See university department responsibilities (page 4)
  • CSUDH shall provide contractors with access to SDSs
  • Precautions and protective measures the employees may take to minimize the possibility of exposure
  • Safety policy & procedures that the contractor must operate while under contract through CSUDH

Records related to the implementation and maintenance of the University's Hazard Communication Program shall be retained per the CSU Executive Order 1031 record retention policy and schedule: https://policy.csuci.edu/aa/11/eo-1031.pdf

The following records shall be maintained by EHS

  • Hazard Communication training
  • SDSs in MSDSOnline
  • List of Hazardous Substances in MSDSONline

This Hazard Communication Plan shall be reviewed at least annually or as needed.