Rhode Island Right to Know/ Hazard Communication laws & HR compliance analysis

Rhode Island 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, worker right-to-know laws have developed in large part according to standards adopted under the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act).
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Because Rhode Island does not have its own approved occupational safety and health plan, the federal OSHA and its worker right-to-know standards are the governing law of the state in all private employment. There is additional information and a detailed discussion of the federal regulations.
Although the private sector is regulated by federal worker right-to-know laws, state employees are protected by the Hazardous Substances Right-to-Know Act (RI Gen. Laws Sec. 28-21-1et seq.), administered by the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training (DLT).
Rhode Island's requirement is, in some instances, stricter than its federal counterpart, the OSH Act's Hazard Communication Standard.
Material safety data sheets (MSDS). If an employer has requested an MSDS for a chemical it purchased from a manufacturer or distributor and has not obtained it, the employer must advise DLT within 45 days of the employer's request. DLT is then required to demand the MSDS from the manufacturer. The manufacturer will be advised that unless the information is supplied within 90 days of the request, the manufacturer will be prohibited from selling or distributing the substance in the state.
Access to chemical identification lists (CIL) and MSDSs. Rhode Island requires that facilities make CILs and MSDSs available to affected employees, or employee ...

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