Policy Manual


Hazard Communication Program      

Type: Procedure                 Category: Risk Management and Safety                 Level: Community Care 

Parties: Community Care Employees and Contractees

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Supporting References: 

Parent Effective Date Approval Level Revision Dates Last Reviewed
9.ME.7  5-1-1997  Executive Director    N/A
Related Document Code Related Document Name Type

Procedure:  .

  1. The Health & Safety Committee and Officer (or designee) will compile a master list of all hazardous chemicals and related work practices used throughout Community Care, and will update this list as necessary. This list of chemicals identifies all of the chemicals used in each work area. As appropriate, a separate list will be kept in each work area. Each list identifies the corresponding MSDS for each chemical. The master list will be maintained by and is available from the Health & Safety Officer or designee.
  2. MSDS' provide providers with specific information on the chemicals they use. The Health & Safety Officer will maintain a binder in the main office with an MSDS on every substance on the list of hazardous chemicals. The MSDS will be fully completed OSHA Form #174 or its equivalent. The Health & Safety Committee will ensure that each Community Care office maintains an MSDS for hazardous materials used in those locations. MSDS' will be made readily available to all providers.
  3. The Health & Safety Committee and Officer are responsible for assuring that MSDS' are available for all chemicals in use at Community Care. The Manager of Human Resources or Finance, or designee, will assure that all chemicals purchased are accompanied by an MSDS. Providers purchasing chemicals without the assistance of Human Resources or Finance will obtain an MSDS when the chemical is purchased. (S)he will contact the chemical manufacturer or vendor if additional research is necessary or if an MSDS has not been supplied with an initial purchase or shipment. All new procurements for Community Care must be cleared by the Health & Safety Committee.
  4. The Health & Safety Committee and Officer will ensure that all hazardous chemicals used at Community Care are properly labeled and updated as necessary. Labels should list at least the: trade name, chemical composition, appropriate hazard warnings (health, flammability, reactivity, personal protection codes) and effects, and the name, address, and telephone number of the manufacturer, importer, or other responsible party. The Health & Safety Committee and Officer will refer to the corresponding MSDS to assist in verifying label information. New labels will be obtained and affixed to containers when changes in chemical composition or hazards occur. New Ms.'s will be reviewed by the Health and Safety Committee as they are received. Additionally, the NFPA 704 system of labeling will be used for any/all stationary places where chemicals are stored. Training for all providers will be provided regarding all existing and each new labeling system.
  5. If chemicals are transferred from a labeled container to a portable container that is intended only for use by that provider during the shift that the provider is working, no labels are required on the portable container; otherwise, the provider performing the transfer will label the portable container, with the product name and manufacturer prominently displayed.
  6. Pipes or piping systems will not be labeled, but their containers and contents will be described in training sessions.
  7. Waste chemicals will be poured into appropriately marked containers. A trained hazardous waste handler will be responsible for having hazardous waste removed and preparing the right documentation in accordance with all applicable regulations. The information will be made available to the contact person.
  8. If a provider is required to perform a hazardous non-routine task (i.e. entering a confined space), a special training session will be conducted to inform him/her regarding any hazardous chemicals to which (s)he might be exposed and the proper precautions to take to reduce or avoid exposure.
  9. Providers who work with or are potentially exposed to hazardous chemicals will receive initial training on the Hazard Communication Standard and the safe use of those hazardous chemicals by the Training Coordinator or by a certified trainer. Managers and Team Clinical Supervisors will be trained regarding hazards and appropriate protective measures so they will be available to provide training, answer questions, and provide daily monitoring of safe work practices. Whenever a new hazard is introduced, additional training will be provided. Regular meetings by the Health & Safety Committee will also be used to review the information presented in the initial and additional training.
  10. The training agenda will include the following items:

        Summary and overview of the requirements contained in OSHA Hazard Communication Standard, 1910.120 standard, the Maine Chemical Identification Law, and this written program.

        Work areas where chemicals are present.

        Chemical and physical properties of hazardous materials (i.e., flashpoints, reactivity, etc.) and methods that can be used to detect the presence or release of chemicals (including chemicals in unlabeled pipes).

        Physical hazards of chemicals (i.e., potential for fire, explosion, etc.).

        Health hazards, including signs and symptoms of exposure, associated with exposure to chemicals, and any medical condition known to be aggravated by exposure to the chemical.

        Procedures to protect against hazards (i.e., personal protective equipment required, proper use, and maintenance; work practices or methods to assure proper use and handling of chemicals; and procedures for emergency response).

        Work procedures to follow to assure protection when cleaning hazardous chemical spills and leaks.

        Where MSDS' are located, how to read and interpret the information on both labels and MSDS', and how providers may obtain additional hazard information.

        Locations of safety devices: first aid equipment, fire extinguishers for each work area.

        Emergency procedures to follow is someone is exposed to any toxic or hazardous substance, evacuations routes and alarm, and use of Community Care's hazardous substance exposure report form..

        Training will be provided to all providers and documented in the provider's personnel file (name, job title, type of training, date, time, trainer) by way of a completed and signed training form..

        New and transferring employees will be oriented to the chemical standards of their work area prior to the beginning of work by their supervisors.

  1. The Health & Safety Committee will review the provider training program and advise the Executive Director on training or retraining needs. Retraining is required when the hazard changes or when a new hazard is introduced into the workplace; and it shall be the policy of Community Care to provide training regularly at group supervisions to ensure the effectiveness of the program. As part of the assessment of the training program, the Training Coordinator will obtain input from Community Care's Health & Safety Committee and from providers regarding training providers have received, and suggestions for improving it. Annual retraining will be provided using the above format for employees potentially exposed to any of the substances used under the Maine Chemical Substance Identification Law.
  2. The Health & Safety Committee, or designee, will advise outside contractors, in person, of any chemical hazards that may be encountered in the normal course of their work on the premises, the labeling system in use, the protective measures to be taken, and the safe handling procedures to be used. The written hazard communication program shall be available to all on-site contractors for review. In addition, these individuals will be notified of the location and availability of the MSDS'. Each contractor bringing chemicals on-site must provide Community Care with the appropriate hazard information on these substances, including the labels used, and the precautionary measures to be taken in working with these chemicals. The contractors will have been responsible for training their own employees.
  3. All providers can obtain further information on this written program, the hazard communication standard, and chemical information lists from the Health & Safety Committee and Officer.
  4. In the event of an emergency, the following telephone numbers may be helpful:


Poison Control Center: 1-800-442-6305

Occupational Health of St. Joseph: 207-262-1830

Fire Department: please know your local #

Police: 911

Community Care: 1-888-236-2273