San Diego Mesa College

Hazard Communication (HazCom)



The purpose of the Hazard Communication standard, also known as HazCom or HCS, is to ensure that the hazards of chemicals are classified, and that information concerning the classified hazards are disseminated to employers and employees.  Key elements for the standard are training, chemical labels, Safety Data Sheets (SDS), and a list of all hazardous chemicals in the work area.

Formaldehyde Program

Formaldehyde is a regulated carcinogen by CAL-OSHA under title 8, section 5217.  The standard applies to all occupational exposures to formaldehyde in any form; from formaldehyde gas, its solutions, and materials that release formaldehyde.

The standard requires a formal written Formaldehyde program, which covers; exposure (limits and monitoring), labeling, controls and PPE, Training, housekeeping, and medical surveillance.

HazCom Labeling Requirements

The Hazard Communication Standard requires the use of a workplace labeling system for identifying hazardous materials. A stock container is the original container that is received directly from a vendor. The container may be metal, glass, or plastic depending on the substance. Chemicals should be kept and stored in the container supplied by the manufacturer. In the event a chemical must be repackaged due to damage or sub-sampling, the new container shall be compatible with the material and the label shall include all of the required elements.

Every container label must contain the following:

  • Product identifier
  • Signal word
  • Hazard statement(s)
  • Pictogram(s)
  • Precautionary statement(s)
  • Name, address, and telephone number of the manufacturer or importer.
  • Label must be legible, permanently displayed, and written in English.


Secondary Containers:  Secondary containers are containers used to supply smaller amounts of chemicals from bulk containers to more than one location, such as instructional laboratories or custodial closets.

  • Secondary containers must be of similar material and quality to the original.
    • Secondary containers for flammable and volatile chemicals must provide the same level of vapor containment as the original container.
    • If not, they must be stored in a chemical fume hood or other properly ventilated location.
  • Secondary containers must be labeled with the name of the chemical or common name, in English.
    • Employees who speak other languages may request the name be written in their language but the English label must be retained.
    • The concentration of the chemical shall also be noted, if appropriate.
  • Secondary containers must also be labeled with
    • Pictogram(s) and/or other applicable hazard warnings.
    • Date chemical was transferred into container.

Labeling resources:

Safety Data Sheet (SDS)

Every hazardous chemical must have a corresponding paper SDS stored in the area in which it is used.  Additionally San Diego Mesa College uses an online SDS database in which SDS may be viewed.  (Remenber: The manufacturer listed on the  SDS must match the manufacturer listed on the chemical container)

Keenan Online SDS database *coming soon*

Additional resources:

Campus Hazardous Chemicals Inventory

As part of the HazCom requirements the list below is a list of known chemicals on the Mesa college campus.  The inventory also identifies all Prop 65 chemicals.  These chemicals are known or suspected of causing cancer.

  • Mesa College Chemical Inventory *coming soon*


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