Skip to Search Skip to Global Navigation Skip to Local Navigation Skip to Content
Handbook of Operating Procedures
Chapter 9 - General Provisions
Publication Date: January 1, 1991
Responsible Executive: VP for Business Affairs

9.06 Compliance with the Texas Hazard Communication Act

The State of Texas 69th Legislature revised Title 83, Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes, to include Article 5182b that established the Hazard Communication Act.

The intent of the Act is to include the compliance by non-manufacturing workplaces not covered by the federal OSHA standard.

The purpose of the Act is to assure that employers provide to employees sufficiently comprehensive information that allows them personal protection from hazardous chemicals/substances to which they may be exposed during their normal employment activities or in emergency situations.

The Campus Safety Officer is appointed as the UTSA designated representative to assure full compliance with the Act.

This program, as detailed in the following pages, implements the procedures necessary to assure that UTSA meets its obligations to faculty, staff and students. Deans, Department Chairs and administrative supervisors will take immediate action to comply with this program, as applicable within their areas of responsibility. These procedures are furnished as a guide to UTSA faculty and staff to enable them to comply with the State of Texas "Hazard Communication Act" and rules published by the Texas State Board of Health.

  1. Non-Manufacturing Employer, Workplace and Work Area

    1. A non-manufacturing employee means an employer with a workplace engaged in transportation services, communications, electric, gas, sanitary services, auto repair and services, miscellaneous report services, health services, education services, which includes studios and chemical labs, and art galleries. The Texas Act includes many of UTSA's activities where employees and students may be exposed in the work area to hazardous chemicals/substances under normal operating condition.

    2. A workplace means a division, unit or separate activity at one geographical location comprised of one or more work areas.

    3. A work area means a classroom, studio lab, a room or a defined space where hazardous chemicals are used and where employees or students are present.

  2. Workplace Chemical List (WCL)

    1. The Act requires that employers compile and maintain a workplace chemical list (WCL) for each hazardous chemical posing a health hazard and normally used or stored in the workplace.

    2. The term "health hazard" includes chemicals which are carcinogens, toxic or highly toxic agents, reproductive toxins, irritants, corrosives, sensitizes, hepatoxins, nephrotoxins, neurotoxins, agents which act on the hematopoietic system, and agents which damage the lungs, skin, eyes or mucous membranes, those having a Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) or Threshold Limit Value (TLV), and radioactive materials.
    3. The following is a partial list of available data sources that may be consulted when performing a hazard determination:
      1. OSHA 29 CFR Part 1910, Subpart Z, Toxic and Hazardous Substances.
      2. Chemical Abstracts, American Chemical Society
      3. Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances, NIOSH 80-102
      4. Threshold Limit Values for Chemical Substances and Physical Agents in the Work Environment, American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists
      5. Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS)
    4. To accomplish a WCL, specific chemicals in use or storage in each work area must be identified. The work area lists should be compiled and consolidated to comprise the WCL. The original shall be maintained at workplace level and a copy of the WCL furnished to the Office of Occupational and Safety Programs for monitoring and recordkeeping. The WCL shall contain the following information:

      1. The chemical name and the common name used on the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) and/or the container label.

      2. The manufacturers/distributor name and catalog number pertaining to the chemical name.

      3. The quantity in use and/or in storage.

      4. The work area in which the hazardous chemical is normally stored or used.

      The WCL shall be updated as necessary but not less frequently than annually. The WCL must be readily available to employees. New or newly assigned employees shall be made aware of the WCL before working with or in a work area containing hazardous chemicals.

      The WCL shall be maintained by the employer (UTSA) for 30 years. The Office of Occupational and Safety Programs is designated as the office of record to meet this responsibility.

  3. Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS)

    Chemical manufacturers and distributors are required to provide UTSA with appropriate MSDS for the hazardous chemicals purchased. The Occupational and Safety Programs Office will maintain a central file for the most current MSDS, and inquiries related to information normally found in MSDS will be forwarded to that office. MSDS shall be readily available, on request, for review by employees in each work area. When an MSDS is received by the Occupational and Safety Programs Office from the supplier, a copy will be furnished to the work area supervisor.

  4. Labels

    1. The Act requires that existing labels or labels on incoming containers of hazardous chemicals may not be removed or defaced.

    2. Employees may not be required to work with a hazardous chemical from an unlabeled container.

  5. Education and Training

    1. The Act requires that every employer shall provide, at least annually, an education and training program which must include, as appropriate, information on interpreting labels and MSDS and the relationship between those two methods of hazardous communication; the location, acute and chronic effects, safe handling procedures, personal protective equipment, and first-aid treatment to be used with respect to the hazardous chemicals used by the employers.

    2. Training relating to general safety instructions on the handling, cleanup procedures, and disposal of hazardous chemicals will be given to employees. Employers shall keep a record of the dates of training sessions given to employees, and a memorandum for the record will be furnished to the Office of Occupational and Safety Programs.

  6. Employee Rights

    1. Employees who may be exposed to hazardous chemicals shall be informed of the exposure. A notice that a work area has been designated as a hazardous area shall be posted at the entrance to the work area.

    2. Employees shall have access to the work place chemical list and MSDS for the hazardous chemicals.

    3. Employees, on request, shall be provided a copy of a specific MSDS with trade secret information, if any, deleted.

    4. Employees shall receive instruction on measures they can take to protect themselves from hazardous chemicals.

    5. Employees shall be provided with the appropriate personal protective equipment.

  7. Knowledgeable Representative

    Each work area shall have a designated "knowledgeable representative." This person's name will appear on emergency forms posted at the entrance to each hazardous work area.

  8. Exemptions

    The provisions of the Act do not apply to chemicals that do not result in a hazardous exposure under normal conditions of use, products labeled under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, hazardous waste managed under the Texas Water Commission, and radioactive waste managed under the Texas Department of Health Bureau of Radiation Control.

  9. Penalties

    1. The Act prescribes administrative penalties and civil or criminal fines ranging from $50.00 to $100,000.00 for violations of the Act.

    2. The Act does not affect any other right of the employee to receive compensation for damages under the law.

Editorial Amendment Issued June 20, 2002