Hazard Communication Program

Safety and Health Policy Statement

The TMCC Environmental Safety and Health Office's (EHS) mission is to support the Truckee Meadows Community College (TMCC) teaching and service functions. EHS assists organizational units in meeting their responsibility to protect the environment and to provide a safe and healthful place of employment and learning.


Truckee Meadows Community College is firmly committed to providing all its employees a safe and healthy work environment, and to see that employees receive the proper training to protect themselves against hazardous substances found in the workplace. This program has been developed in accordance with 29CFR 1910.1200 (Hazard Communication).

The Hazard Communication (HAZCOM) Program (the "Program") purpose is to facilitate the Environmental Health and Safety Management system to ensure that all receptacles containing hazardous substances are clearly and properly labeled, that Safety Data Sheets (SDS), Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS), or other hazard data are available to all employees in their respective work areas, and employee training on hazardous substances is made available.

Outside contractors and their employees will be informed of the presence of hazardous substances on campus that may be encountered in the progression of their work. Similarly, TMCC employees will be notified or have access to information on the hazardous substances that outside contractors bring to our campuses.

This procedure does not apply to tobacco, wood products, food, drugs, cosmetics, or other items or articles intended for personal consumption or use.

Hazards can be either a physical hazard or a health hazard:

  • Physical Hazard: Any chemical or substance that is a combustible liquid, compressed gas, explosive, flammable, organic peroxide, oxidizer, unstable (reactive), or water reactive.
  • Health Hazard: Any chemical or substance that is proven to have an adverse health effect on vital body organs and systems of any human exposed to it. This includes chemicals that are known carcinogens, toxic agents, irritants, corrosives, and sensitizers.


Supervisors and department/division managers will ensure that all chemical containers received for use are clearly labeled as to contents and appropriate hazard warnings within their respective area. Secondary containers not designated for immediate use will also be clearly labeled as to contents and hazard warnings but need not include information about the manufacturer or other responsible party.

No label will be removed or defaced while material is in use. In a classroom setting, when small bottles are used from a rack or a tray, the rack or tray can be labeled with the required hazard warning information in lieu of labeling the individual bottles when contents are identical. However, each individual bottle must be labeled with the identity of its contents.

When consumer products are purchased in quantities compatible with home use, they shall be used as they would be used in the home. Accordingly, they shall have consumer warning labels and they are not considered hazardous substances.

Safety Data Sheets (SDS) and Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS)

TMCC uses an electronic SDS Management System called CHIMERA. The CHIMERA system SDS Lookup Tool is a web-based database and can be found in the front cover of any SDS binder, or by using this embedded link: CHIMERA SDS Lookup Tool.

Copies of SDS/MSDS, or other hazard data for hazardous chemicals that employees may be exposed to, will be kept in close proximity to where the chemicals are stored either in binders or electronically. The SDS/MSDS will be available to all employees and students for reviewing during each work shift/class, and copies may be obtained on request.

Employee Training and Information

The employee's immediate supervisor will be responsible for familiarizing each new employee on the correct methods of handling hazardous chemicals that may be part of the employee's task. This training will include the following:

  • A knowledge of all hazardous substances present in the employees work area, the physical and health effects of each, and emergency procedures to be followed where potential exposure is present;
  • The location of SDS/MSDS or other hazard data;
  • Methods and observation techniques used to determine the presence or release of hazardous substances in the workplace;
  • Understanding of labels and hazard information such as SDS/MSDS and labels to lessen the danger of exposure to hazardous substances in the workplace;
  • Proper work practices and protective safety measures to be followed in handling hazardous substances; and
  • The availability of the Hazard Communication Program.

Each new employee will receive instruction in the Hazardous Communication Program from the Environmental Health and Safety Office or the Chemical Hygiene Officer. Every employee and supervisor should request information and guidance when needed concerning workplace hazards.

Please contact the EHS Office with any requests.

Student Training and Information

Each instructor is responsible for advising their students on the nature of hazardous chemicals that may be used in the classroom setting. Students should be made aware of this program and the SDS/MSDS, or other hazard data for chemical hazards in their classroom.

Outside Contractors

Before work at any TMCC location is commenced by contractors, sub-contractors, and their employees, the EHS Office will be responsible for providing the contractor with the information on hazardous substances used by the college that may affect the contractors work.
This Information includes:

  • The type and location of hazardous substances that carry potential exposure;
  • Protective safety measures that may be taken to reduce exposure risks;
  • Steps that TMCC has taken to reduce exposure risks;
  • The location of SDS/MSDS for hazardous substances that carry potential exposure; and
  • Emergency procedures to be followed where potential exposure is present.

Similarly, college personnel must be informed of all chemicals the contractor, sub-contractor, and their employees may bring to campus. This information must be made available to all affected TMCC employees/students and should include the five items above.

Non-Routine Tasks

Occasionally, employees may be asked to perform non­routine tasks or spend time in an area other than their normal work area. Supervisors will inform their employees of all potential exposure hazards present in the non-routine task. The supervisor will evaluate the related hazards and provide appropriate controls and PPE.

GHS Pictograms

Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). Hazard pictograms are one of the key elements for the labeling of containers under the GHS.

GHS Pictogram