Supersedes 242 FW 2, FWM 068, 02/17/93
Date: May 20, 2011
Series: Occupational Safety and Health
Part 242: Industrial Hygiene
Originating Office: Division of Safety and Health
2.1 What is the purpose of this chapter? This chapter describes the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) requirements and responsibilities for identifying, preventing, managing, and communicating about hazardous materials. We designed the program to ensure the safety of personnel who are or may be exposed to these materials within their work environment.
2.2 What is the Service’s policy on hazard communication (HAZCOM)?
A. We have established procedures in compliance with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standard (29 CFR 1910.1200) to prevent occupational illness or injury associated with uncontrolled exposures to hazardous chemicals.
B. Our Project Leaders, supervisors, and facility managers must communicate these procedures to employees, and employees must follow them.
2.3 What is the scope of this chapter?
A. This chapter applies to the following people who work with or near hazardous chemicals in or around their workplace:
(3) Contractors when they are working on a Service site that is covered by a HAZCOM plan (see section 2.9),
(4) Youth Conservation Corps members,
(5) Student interns, and
(6) Others with which we have an employer-employee relationship (e.g., Youth Ambassador
program participants, etc.).
B. This chapter does not apply to:
(1) Those personnel who are working in an office environment where they are not likely to be exposed to hazardous materials, and
(2) People using cosmetics and consumer products when they use them as intended by the manufacturer. If workers must use such a consumer product in a non-standard way that may expose them to a hazardous material, we must cover the product in our HAZCOM program.
2.4 What are the authorities for the HAZCOM program?
A. Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) Federal Agency Safety Programs and Responsibilities (Public Law 91-596, Sec 19).
B. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Standards, Hazard Communication (29 CFR 1910.1200).
C. OSHA Standards, Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Chemicals in Laboratories (29 CFR 1910.1450).
D. Basic Program Elements for Federal Employee Occupational Safety and Health Programs and Related Matters (29 CFR 1960).
E. Executive Order 12196, Occupational Safety and Health Programs for Federal Employees.
2.5 What terms do you need to know to understand this chapter?
A. Action Levels are the minimum levels of occupational exposure to hazards that we use as a trigger in implementing medical surveillance examinations or continued health monitoring. Action levels are chemical-specific and driven by regulations.
B. Administrative Controls are procedures we can use to reduce exposure to hazardous materials (e.g., using a safer product, minimizing exposure duration, using the product in a way that eliminates the hazard, hiring a contractor to do the job).
C. Engineering Controls are mechanical means of reducing exposure at the source (e.g., fume hoods, exhaust fans, splash barriers, etc).
D. Exposed means that you were subjected to the effects of a hazardous chemical when working, such as through inhalation, ingestion, a puncture wound, or skin contact.
E. Hazardous Materials have statistically significant evidence that the properties of a chemical(s) may pose a health or physical hazard.
(1) They include laboratory chemicals, toners, cleaning supplies, petroleum products, hazardous organic compounds, maintenance shop supplies, lubricants, fuels, welding rods, paints, adhesives, etc. Hazardous materials also may be raw materials (wood, metal, plastic) that cause a hazard when a worker saws, heats, drills, or processes them into finished products.
(2) Chemicals listed in the following references are hazardous:
(a) 29 CFR 1910, Subpart Z, Toxic and Hazardous Substances.
(b) 29 CFR 1910.1200, Hazard Communication, Appendix A.
(d) Annual Report on Carcinogens, National Toxicology Program, Latest Edition.
(e) Monographs, International Agency for Research on Cancer, Latest Edition.
F. Hazard Communication (HAZCOM) is a program employers use to ensure that they identify chemical hazards, inform employees about the hazards, develop measures to protect employees from those hazards, and explain how to protect themselves before they could be potentially exposed. Another phrase we use to describe it is the “Employee Right-to-Know program.” See 561 FW 14 for information on disclosing information about hazardous materials to State and local agencies and the Community Right-to-Know policy.
G. Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) and Safety Data Sheet (SDS). MSDSs and SDSs (we refer to them collectively in this chapter as “MSDSs”) provide invaluable information about health risks, safety precautions, first aid procedures, and other information on various chemical products.
H. Physical Hazards.
I. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) are items such as gloves, safety glasses, goggles, protective footwear, respirators, etc., that we require employees to wear to protect them from hazards associated with their assigned job tasks.
2.6 Who is responsible for the hazard communication program? Table 2-2 describes the responsibilities for this program.
2.7 What are the required elements of a hazard communication program? This section describes the six elements of our HAZCOM program: HAZCOM plans, training, MSDSs, hazard chemical inventories, labeling, and employee medical records of exposure.
A. HAZCOM Plan:
(1) The HAZCOM plan is a document:
(a) Describing how Project Leaders/supervisors/facility managers identify and communicate the risks and exposure potentials of employees from hazardous chemicals in their workplace;
(b) Addressing the other elements of the program for their station—training, MSDSs, hazard chemical inventories, labeling, storage and shelf-life, exposure records, and non-routine hazardous situations; and
(c) Describing wastes generated from chemical use and how they will be disposed (see the requirements in 561 FW 6, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Hazardous Waste).
(2) Exhibit 1 is a sample HAZCOM plan that is an easy-to-use, standardized format for developing site-specific or facility-specific plans. Project Leaders/supervisors/facility managers may check with their Regional Safety Office for Regionally-specific samples.
(3) Complexes may have one plan that covers various locations, but the plan must specifically meet the needs of each location and must adequately address the components of each location (e.g., the locations of MSDSs, hazardous material storage, explosives, etc.).
(1) All employees who are or may be exposed to chemicals must receive training before they are assigned to duties where hazards are present or whenever a hazard changes.
(2) Training may be in the form of informal group or individual briefings, prepared training, or pamphlets and printed information. The Project Leader/supervisor/facility manager or Collateral Duty Safety Officer may establish the best method to train employees.
(3) Information about specific chemical hazards, physical properties (i.e., flash points, vapor pressure, and reactivity) and protective measures are on the written labels and MSDSs of chemicals and products.
(4) The most important aspects of training under this program are to ensure that employees are aware of their potential exposure to hazardous chemicals, know how to read and use labels and MSDSs, and are aware of and follow appropriate protective measures. Table 2-3 lists the minimum training items to cover.
(5) Project Leaders/supervisors/facility managers must keep HAZCOM training records with the stations' HAZCOM program files and give a copy to the employee(s).
C. MSDS: The MSDS (OSHA Form 174) provides detailed information on each hazardous material, including its potentially hazardous characteristics and recommendations for appropriate protective measures.
(1) Field stations must obtain an MSDS for every hazardous chemical they store or use. We recommend field stations keep MSDSs for common household and consumer products.
(2) When employees order new chemicals and hazardous materials, the purchase and delivery orders and Orders for Supplies and Services (OF 347) must include the following or a similar statement:
“The distributor must provide the Material Safety Data Sheet, OSHA Form 174, or one essentially similar or pertinent to the product with the shipment or under a separate cover. The MSDS is a mandatory part of this order. If the distributor does not provide the MSDS, the Service will not accept the order.”
(3) Project Leaders/supervisors/facility managers must ensure that MSDSs for all chemicals are kept in a central location that is readily accessible by employees. The location must be clearly identified in the station’s HAZCOM plan.
(4) MSDSs of hazardous chemicals that employees no longer use or store at a facility may be removed from the station's HAZCOM plan and chemical inventory. However, Project Leaders/supervisors/facility managers must ensure they are kept in an archived HAZCOM MSDS file or binder and maintained in accordance with section 2.7F.
D. Hazardous Chemical Inventories. Project Leaders/supervisors/facility managers must keep a list of hazardous chemicals for their facilities and update it at least annually and as new products containing hazardous chemicals are received. They may use FWS Form 3-2288 for the inventory or a similar inventory system. Each item on the inventory must have a corresponding MSDS. We encourage field stations to share the station’s chemical inventory/MSDSs with local fire departments to help communicate hazards they may encounter during a fire response.
E. Labeling. All containers of hazardous chemicals must be labeled, tagged, or marked with the identity of the chemical and appropriate hazard warnings. Chemical manufacturers and distributors must appropriately label every container of hazardous chemical that they ship.
(1) If an employee transfers a hazardous chemical into another container, he/she must label the secondary container and ensure it is suitable for the substance (unless he/she plans to use it immediately). The transfer container must be free of residues and contamination from previously stored chemicals.
F. Employee Medical Records of Exposures. When an employee is exposed or potentially exposed to hazardous materials, we keep records on exposure sampling data or the MSDSs, employee medical examination results, hazardous chemical inventories, and hazardous chemical use in accordance with 29 CFR 1910.1020, 5 CFR 293.511, and 242 FW 4, Medical Programs. We must keep these records for the period of an employee’s employment plus 30 years, and then transfer them to the National Archives and Records Administration. See 242 FW 4, Medical Programs, for more information on medical records maintenance.
2.8 How does the Service handle non-routine hazards?
A. For an activity that is not part of the routine and where there is a potential hazard, the Project Leader/supervisor/facility manager must:
(1) Prepare a job hazard assessment (JHA) describing the chemical handling procedures (also see 240 FW 1), and
(2) Review the JHA with affected employees before they start the activity.
B. Employees must handle emergency situations such as fires, spills, or leaks according to their duty station’s procedures and the procedures listed on the MSDS. Only employees who have had training in the required procedures and personal protective equipment may respond to a chemical emergency. If adequate personnel and equipment are not available to respond to a chemical emergency, employees must evacuate—not attempt to respond—and notify local emergency responders.
2.9 How does the Service interact with contractors at sites covered by a HAZCOM plan? Contractors working at sites covered by a HAZCOM plan must comply with the parts of the plan that are applicable to their work. Table 2-4 describes what information the Project Leader/supervisor/facility manager must give contractors and what we must expect them to give to us.
2.10 What are the recordkeeping requirements associated with the HAZCOM program?
A. Project Leaders/Facility Managers/Supervisors must retain:
(1) Copies of MSDSs (chemicals being used and those no longer in use) (see section 2.7C),
(2) Exposure sampling results for a minimum of 30 years, and
(3) A written record of all hazard communication training employees receive (see section 2.7B),
B. The servicing Human Capital office must retain in the employee’s medical file, all medical evaluations such as physician opinions, physical exam results, and physical exam supporting documentation for the length of employment plus 30 years.
2.11 Where can someone find more complete details about HAZCOM program requirements? For complete details of HAZCOM program requirements, visit OSHA’s Web site. If you cannot access this site, contact your Regional Safety Office for assistance.
For information on the content of this chapter, contact the Division of Safety and Health. For information about this Web site, contact Krista Holloway in the Division of Policy and Directives Management.