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Hazard Communication (HAZCOM)


This training module is intended to help you better understand chemical safety and the health hazards of chemicals and also introduce you to the "NEW" Global Harmonized System (GHS) for labeling chemicals.

As users of hazardous chemicals, UMaine employees must fulfill certain obligations under the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations. In order to meet these requirements, UMaine has established programs to conform with these law to increase your awareness about the chemicals in your work area.

A copy of the UMaine HAZCOM Program is available in the SEM Documents section on the Safety and Environmental Management (SEM) web page.  Other campuses may contact their safety department

Who is required to have HAZCOM training?

All employees who may be exposed to hazardous chemicals at work either as a part of their job or in a foreseeable emergency.

A foreseeable emergency is any potential occurrence that could result in an uncontrolled release of a hazardous chemical (for instance equipment failure, leak or rupture of containers, or failure of control equipment which could result in an uncontrolled release). It doesn't include employee exposures in the event of an accidental fire.

Student chemical safety training is part of their course curriculum.

How often is this training required?

The HAZCOM standard requires that you be provided with effective information and training on hazardous chemicals in your work area at the time of your initial assignment, and whenever a new hazard is introduced into your work area.

How does this training module apply to my training?

This training module may be used to supplement your department HAZCOM training as long as you complete all of the following:

  • read all of the following
  • successfully pass the test at the end;
  • discuss your department specific chemical usage with your supervisor

What is required to be addressed in HAZCOM Training

Items addressed in this training module are:

  • The details of the UMaine HAZCOM Program
  • Understanding Hazard Communication
  • Understanding Chemical Hazards
  • Safety Data Sheets (SDS)
  • Container labels (GHS, HMIS & NFPA)
  • Terms

Your supervisor must discuss the following items with you when you have completed this training module:

  • The location and availability of the chemical inventory and safety data sheets of the chemicals that you work with.
  • The location and the physical and health hazards of the hazardous chemicals in your work area.
  • Measures that you can take to protect yourself from these hazards and how you'll detect the presence or release of a hazardous chemical.

With the proper information about the chemicals you use, you can take steps to reduce exposures, substitute less hazardous materials, and establish proper work practices. These efforts will help you prevent work-related illnesses and injuries caused by chemicals.