All personnel have the legal right to know the hazards involved when working with chemicals. They also have the responsibility to follow all applicable regulations during and after the use of chemicals. OSHA regulates how to work safely with chemicals and EPA regulates the use and disposal of these chemicals. The State of Florida adopted the OSHA and EPA regulations as the "Florida Right to Know" Law (FS Chapter 442: Occupational Safety and Health) and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA 40 CFR part 261-268). The regulatory agencies are the Florida Department of Labor and Employment Security-Division of Safety (DLES) and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).
Chemical safety depends on control. Even the most dangerous chemicals can be handled safely if employers and employees are aware of the hazards and how to protect themselves against harmful exposures. The following rules have been developed to protect employees and prevent accidents.
Chemical manufacturers, distributors, or importers will categorize chemicals into the appropriate hazard class which will be listed on the label or MSDS.
There are five common types of labels. Normally, they are the first indication of the contents and hazards of the container. American National Standards Institute, ANSI-Z129.1-1982, details the requirements for labeling, but since compliance to the subpart is voluntary, there is no universal system of labeling. Some labels provide more information than others. While a label is not a MSDS, ANSI recommends it should contain the following basic information.