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Your Right to Know

HMLS Label

There was a time when employees had no legal means to force their employers to provide them with information about the hazardous substances they used at work. They demanded a "Right-to-Know," or the right to have access to such information.

On September 17, 1984, the State of Oklahoma adopted the Federal OSHA Standards (29 CFR 1910 and 1926), better known as the "Hazard Communication" or "Right-to-Know" standards, to apply to the state government and its political subdivisions. (Title 40 O.S. sections 401-424, Oklahoma statutes as amended.)

You Have The Right To Know--And Understand

Employees of 0SU have the right to know the properties and potential safety and health hazards of substances to which they may be exposed. Such knowledge is essential to reducing the risk of occupational illness and injury.

In 2012, OSHA revised the Hazard Communication Standard to bring it into alignment with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS), which will also give workers the "Right To Understand."

Goals of Hazard Communication:

  • To help you reduce the risks involved in working with hazardous materials
  • To transmit vital information to employees about real and potential hazards of substances in the work place
  • To reduce the incidence and cost of illness and injury resulting from hazardous substances
  • To promote public employer's need and right to know
  • To encourage a reduction in the volume and toxicity of hazardous substances

The Five Stages of OSU's Program

NEXT  Safety Data Sheets
  Labeling and Marking Systems
  Employee Training Sessions
  Written Right-to-Know Plan
  Chemical Inventory List

NOTE: The information contained in this training module is for awareness/informational purposes only. It is suitable for use as a tool in increasing the reader's awarenss of OSHA's Hazard Communication Standard. However, it shall not be used, nor considered to be a replacement or substitute, for any training required by the OSHA Hazard Communication Standard.

At Oklahoma State University, the office of Environmental Health and Safety may be contacted to assist departments with their Hazard Communication and the required training.


Download this program as a PowerPoint presentation


Check out OSU EHS's online Hazcom Information Library for additional information.


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Reviewed December 2012


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