Employee Safety and Right to Know
Hazard Awareness and Communication
It is the policy of the California State University system to provide and maintain a safe environment for employees, students, and the public. Toward this end, the Department of Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) is responsible for developing and implementing meaningful programs to control hazards and promote the health and safety of the SDSU campus community. The purpose of this text is to inform you, the SDSU employee, of your rights and responsibilities concerning safety in the workplace.
Rights and Responsibilities
As an employee you are entitled to a safe working environment, and you have the “right-to-know” about potential workplace hazards. You also have the responsibility to be aware of general safety procedures, to be knowledgeable of hazards, and to be vigilant in observing and reporting conditions that may be hazardous to you or your coworkers. A campus Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP) exists to guide you in these endeavors.
Supervisors are responsible for ensuring that employees under their direction are fully trained in safety practices pertinent to their work. If potentially hazardous chemicals are involved, this responsibility includes instruction on how to read Safety Data Sheets or SDS. These are fact sheets that contain important health and safety information such as physical and chemical properties, the type of health hazard posed by the chemical, and procedures to follow in case of an emergency. Supervisors must ensure that an SDS is obtained for each chemical and made readily available for each employee.
The SDSU HazComm Program
The Department of Environmental Health and Safety is responsible for developing and implementing procedures and programs to control hazards and promote employee safety and well-being. EHS has worked with other departments to formulate and implement the SDSU Hazard Awareness and Communication Program, or “HazComm.” The program describes specific requirements and assigns responsibilities for promoting hazard awareness in the workplace. Copies of the written HazComm Program may be obtained from EHS.
EHS offers technical consultation and services in a variety of subject areas related to health and safety. Staff also work with academic and administrative service departments to prevent or reduce injuries and work-related illnesses at the university.