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Campus Safety Manual

Hazard Communication Program

The University-of Houston-Victoria is concerned about the health and safety of its employees, and hazard awareness is a basic part of any safety and health program. The University will provide a safe place in which to work and instruct it employees in safe work practices. However, employees have the responsibility to learn and follow established policy and procedures. This program provides the knowledge and training you need to work safely with chemicals or other hazardous materials to reduce the possibility of exposure to their physical dangers.

The best way to protect your health and safety is to know about each of the chemicals you work with. Some chemicals can explode or start fires. Others can cause skin rashes, breathing problems, or more serious illnesses. But, if you handle hazardous chemicals carefully, following the right precautions, these chemicals can be handled safely. You can help prevent illness and injury by reading the Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) if you are unsure about a chemical and the warning labels for each chemical you use. MSDSs and warning labels provide key health and safety information about the hazardous chemicals in your work area.

The Campus Safety and Risk Manager is the University's HAZCOM Coordinator. The Campus Safety and Risk Manager also serves as the Campus Safety Officer and may be contacted at (361) 570-4245 or by email at

The University, in order to comply with the Texas Hazard Communication Act (HAZCOM), has developed and implemented the following hazard communication program. The Act applies to colleges and universities and other public employers over whom OSHA does not have jurisdiction.

HAZCOM provides employees access to information on hazardous chemicals to which they may be exposed. The central concept behind the Act is the employees' "right-to-know." State agencies are required to:

  • notify employees of the law and their rights;
  • provide training as needed on the hazards and safe use of chemicals in their workplaces;
  • provide appropriate personal protective equipment;
  • make material safety data sheets (MSDSs) readily available to employees;
  • ensure that chemical containers are labeled;
  • prepare workplace chemical lists if hazardous chemical inventories exceed 55 gallons or 500 pounds.
  • Workplace Chemical Lists will be made readily available for employees and their representatives by request to the Safety Office.

New employees will be advised of the Hazard Communication Act and of any operation in their work area involving hazardous chemicals or physical agents during their initial Safety orientation.

Continuing education will be provided as part of the departmental meetings conducted by supervisors or the Safety Office. The use of equipment and personal protective equipment and/or Material Safety Data Sheets will be discussed periodically to ensure your knowledge and understanding of how to request and use personal protective equipment.

The unit head or Campus Safety & Risk Manager will meet with contractors to ensure that they are advised of potential hazardous chemical exposures in areas in which employees might be working.

A Glossary of Common MSDS Terms used in preparing Material Safety Data Sheets is located at Should you not understand or be unsure of language, definitions or procedures, ask your supervisor for clarification or contact the Campus Safety & Risk Manager at extension 4245.

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