|Access to Employee Exposure Records
January 29, 2013,
Volume 59, No. 19
The Office of Environmental Health & Radiation Safety (EHRS) monitors employee exposure to toxic substances and harmful physical agents and maintains employee exposure records. The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) standard, “Access to Employee Exposure and Medical Records” (29CFR1910.1020) permits access to employer-maintained exposure and medical records by employees or their designated representative and by OSHA.
University employees may obtain a copy of their exposure record by calling EHRS at (215) 898-4453 or by email: email@example.com
Hazard Communication Program
The University of Pennsylvania’s Hazard Communication Program consists of information regarding access to Safety Data Sheets, proper labeling of hazardous chemicals and the hazard communication training programs required for all employees who handle hazardous chemicals as part of their work.
On March 20, 2012 OSHA announced that it is aligning the Hazard Communication Standard with the United Nations Globally Harmonized System (GHS) of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals. The revised standard requires employers to train employees in the new requirements for labeling and the new format for Safety Data Sheets (SDS) (formally known as material safety data sheets) by December 2013. Manufacturers are required to update chemical classification, labels, and safety data sheets with the GHS format by June 1, 2015. The new standard is expected to increase quality and consistency of hazard information, making it easier to safely use and handle hazardous chemicals in the workplace.
Penn’s written Hazard Communication Program is available from the Office of Environmental Health & Radiation Safety, 3160 Chestnut Street Suite 400/6287. It is also available on the EHRS website www.ehrs.upenn.edu/programs/occupat/hazcomm.html A library of SDS for hazardous chemicals used at the University is on file at EHRS. An SDS describes the physical and chemical properties of a product, health hazards and routes of exposure, precautions for safe handling and use, emergency procedures, reactivity data and control measures. Many SDS’s are also available through EHRS’s website www.ehrs.upenn.edu/programs/occupat/msds/ University employees may also obtain an SDS by calling EHRS at (215) 898-4453 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Laboratory workers should refer to Penn’s Chemical Hygiene Plan, www.ehrs.upenn.edu/programs/labsafety/chp/ for additional information concerning the safe handling of chemicals in laboratories.
OSHA requires training for all employees who work with hazardous chemicals. A specialized hazard communication training program was recently developed for the School of Design. To determine which training program applies to your work, complete the Penn Profiler.