Harper College

Hazard Communications

Hazard Communication (Haz Com) is part of the EH&S/RM Procedure Manual, Section 7.

The Hazard Communication Program is a plan to ensure that all employees and students receive information on the possible chemical hazards which could be in use on campus.

To communicate the hazards of chemicals, all chemical containers must be labeled at all times. The chemicals must also have a Safety Data Sheet (SDS) that further explains the hazards. All departments must maintain chemical inventories and associated SDS on the chemicals that they use.

In 2012, OSHA revised the Haz Com Standard to align with the UN system of classifying chemicals. Starting in 2015, chemical manufacturers and distributors will be required to comply with new labeling of chemicals and a new format to the SDS.

If you have questions about the Haz Com program, or if you need a copy of an SDS, please submit this form.


The label must contain (as of December 1, 2015): 

  • Name, Address, and Telephone Number of the chemical manufacturer, importer or other responsible party.
  • Product Identifier - how the hazardous chemical is identified. This can be (but is not limited to) the chemical name, code number or batch number.
  • Signal Words are used to indicate the relative level of severity of the hazard and alert the reader to a potential hazard on the label. There are only two words used as signal words- "Danger" and "Warning."  Within a specific hazard class, "Danger" is used for the more severe hazards, and "Warning" is used for the less severe hazards.
  • Hazard Statements describe the nature of the hazard(s) of a chemical, including, where appropriate, the degree of hazard. All of the applicable hazard statements must appear on the label. Hazard statements may be combined where appropriate to reduce redundancies and improve readability.
  • Precautionary Statements describe recommended measures that should be taken to minimize or prevent adverse effects resulting from exposure to the hazardous chemical or improper storage or handling. There are four types of precautionary statements: prevention (to minimize exposure); response (in case of accidental spillage or exposure emergency response and first-aid); storage; and disposal.
  • Pictogram(s) are graphic symbols used to communicate specific information about the hazard(s) of a chemical. There are nine pictograms; however, OSHA will not enforce the use of the "environment" pictogram. 
  • Hazard Communication Standard Labels (OSHA QuickCard)

Safety Data Sheets (SDS)

The 2012 Haz Com Revision required the following 16 sections:


  1. Identification includes product identifier; manufacturer or distributor name, address, phone number; emergency phone number; recommended use; restrictions on use.
  2. Hazard(s) identification includes all hazards regarding the chemical; required label elements.
  3. Composition/information on ingredients includes information on chemical ingredients; trade secret claims.
  4. First-aid measures includes important symptoms/effects, acute, delayed; required treatment.
  5. Fire-fighting measures lists suitable extinguishing techniques, equipment; chemical hazards from fire.
  6. Accidental release measures lists emergency procedures; protective equipment; proper methods of containment and cleanup.
  7. Handling and storage lists precautions for safe handling and storage, including incompatibilities.
  8. Exposure controls/personal protection lists OSHA's Permissible Exposure Limits (PELs); Threshold Limit Values (TLVs); appropriate engineering controls; personal protective equipment (PPE).
  9. Physical and chemical properties lists the chemical's characteristics.
  10. Stability and reactivity lists chemical stability and possibility of hazardous reactions.
  11. Toxicological information includes routes of exposure; related symptoms, acute and chronic effects; numerical measures of toxicity.
  12. Ecological information*
  13. Disposal considerations*
  14. Transport information*
  15. Regulatory information*
  16. Other information, includes the date of preparation or last revision.

OSHA SDS QuickCard

*Note: Since other agencies regulate this information, OSHA will not be enforcing Sections 12 through 15(29 CFR 1910.1200(g)(2)).


Last Updated: 12/14/23