Chemical Right-to-Know for Public Employees in Massachusetts
Massachusetts regulations at 454 CMR 21.00 contains the worker Right-to-Know Law. To see 454 CMR 21.00, click here.
Private employers: Private employers working on public or private property must comply with the OSHA Hazard Communication Standard, OSHA 29 CFR 1910.1200.
Public employers: Public employers must comply with the worker Right-to-Know Law, 454 CMR 21.00. For a booklet which explains the Right-to-Know Law, click here.
Public employers must provide at a minimum:
- Maintain on your site a Material Safety Data Sheet for each chemical product used by workers. Workers should be able to access the data sheets during their shift.
- Note in 2013, manufacturers began renaming Material Safety Data Sheets to “Safety Data Sheets.”
- Provide a label on all chemical containers.
- Note that beginning in 2014, manufacturer labels will be revised to include pictograms.
- Train workers at new-hire assignment and annually.
- Training is typically 1-2 hours, depending upon type of chemicals used.
- A municipality may conduct its own training.
- If a municipality hires a 3rd party trainer, the trainer must be registered with the Department of Labor Standards.
Under MGL c. 149 s 6, the Department of Labor Standards can issue a civil penalty for each violation. Public employers who implement a comprehensive Chemical Hazard Communication program in compliance with OSHA 29 CFR 1910.1200 will be considered to meet Massachusetts requirements for public employees.
Right to Know Law and regulation references:
The Right to Know Law - MGL 111F
MGL 111F required three agencies to publish regulations, Department of Labor and Industries (now the Department of Labor Standards), Department of Public Health and the Department of Environmental Quality Engineering (now the Department of Environmental Protection). The regulations promulgated and a brief summary of each is as follows:
- Department of Labor Standards - Workplace Regulation - ( 454 CMR 21.00)
- Dept. of Public Health - Mass Substance List and Lab exemptions - (105 CMR 670.000).
- Dept. of Environmental Protection - Community Right to Know - (310 CMR 33.00)
Technical Assistance Bulletins:
Powerpoint: Right-to-Know and GHS file size 1MB
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