New York Right to Know/ Hazard Communication laws & HR compliance analysis

New York Right to Know/ Hazard Communication: What you need to know

Hazard Communication Standards, or worker “right-to-know” laws, regulate how information about workplace chemical hazards is communicated to employees. As with most workplace health and safety standards, right-to-know laws have developed in large part according to standards adopted under the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act). The law allows individual states to devise and administer their own work safety laws and regulations, but only if the state program has federal approval. To qualify for federal approval, a state plan must be at least as stringent as federal standards.
Because New York does not have its own approved occupational safety and health plan, the federal OSHA and its right-to-know standards are the governing law of the state in all private sector (businesses and private nonprofit organizations) workplaces.
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Public employees only. New York does have a federally approved state counterpart to the OSH Act, called the Public Employee Safety and Health Act (PESH Act), which applies to the public sector (state, county, and municipal governments, school systems, commissions, etc.) only. The PESH Act, which is administered and enforced by the state Department of Labor, has adopted the standards of the federal OSH Act, including its hazard communications standard, but it includes several additional requirements.
Education and training. Every public employer must provide education and training for employees routinely exposed to toxic substances, both before the employee's initial assignment and annually. If there are a substantial number of employees who speak a common language other than English, the training program and accompanying written materials ...

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