Massachusetts Hazard Communication laws & safety compliance analysis

Massachusetts Hazard Communication : What you need to know


Massachusetts is not a “state plan” state; that is, it does not have a federally approved occupational safety and health regulatory program. Thus, the federal Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act governs private sector workplaces. The state may investigate county and municipal government workplaces to ensure compliance with its policy that such employers must follow federal workplace safety and health rules.

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Massachusetts has its own hazard communication, or worker right-to-know, law that applies to all public sector workplaces, including state, county, and municipal offices and operations.

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) implements and enforces all job safety and health regulations for the private sector workplaces in Massachusetts. The Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development Department of Labor Standards (DLS) investigates all public sector workplaces for compliance with the state’s hazard communication requirements and investigates county and municipal workplaces for compliance with the federal safety and health rules.

454 Code of Massachusetts Regulations (CMR) 21.01

The Massachusetts worker right-to-know law applies to all public sector employers where employees are, have been, or may be exposed to toxic or hazardous substances in the workplace. A municipality, county, or state facility may assume that all chemicals that have a safety data sheet (SDS) listing any type of hazard are covered by the worker right-to-know law.


“Consumer” products (i.e., office supplies, foodstuffs, gasoline, fuel oils, alcoholic beverages, and articles) are exempt, unless the substance is listed as a ...

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