New York Hazard Communication laws & safety compliance analysis

New York Hazard Communication : What you need to know

· Rules. New York has a federally approved occupational safety and health regulatory program, but it applies to public (state and local governments) sector employers only. This means that while public sector employers must follow the state rules, private employers are regulated by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act). New York has adopted the standards of the federal OSH Act in their entirety, and public employers are also subject to recordkeeping, reporting, and training provisions of the state workplace right-to-know law that are stricter than federal rules.

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· Administration and enforcement. OSHA administers and enforces safety and health regulations in private sector workplaces. PESH enforces and administers the worker health and safety rules in public sector workplaces.


Public sector workplaces include subway tunnels, public landfills, fire departments, schools, and office buildings.

Education and Training
12 NYCRR 820.4

Every public employer must provide an education and training program for employees routinely exposed to toxic substances. "Routine exposure" is defined in the regulations (12 NYCRR 820.2). Training must begin before an employee's initial assignment, and be repeated annually. A training program must contain the following information and educational components and other standard information required by federal and state regulations:

  • How to read a material safety data sheet (MSDS) or chemical data sheet
  • Written information on the effects of exposure to toxic substances

If a substantial number of employees (10 employees or 20 percent of the total number of employees, whichever number is lower) speak a common language ...

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