2018 Georgia Code
Title 45 - Public Officers and Employees
Chapter 22 - Public Employee Hazardous Chemical Protection and Right to Know
§ 45-22-7. Material safety data sheets; notice to employees; rights of employees

Universal Citation: GA Code § 45-22-7 (2018)
  • (a) The manufacturer, importer, or distributor of any hazardous chemical shall prepare a material safety data sheet which, to the best knowledge of the manufacturer, importer, or distributor, is current, accurate, and complete, based on information then reasonably available to the manufacturer, importer, or distributor, and provide a copy of the material safety data sheet to employers who purchase such hazardous chemicals and an electronic copy to the department annually.

  • (b) Any person who produces a mixture may, for the purposes of this Code section, prepare and use a mixture material safety data sheet, subject to the provisions of subsection (j) of this Code section.

  • (c) A manufacturer, importer, distributor, or employer may provide the information required by this Code section on an entire mixture, instead of on each hazardous chemical in it, when all of the following conditions exist:

    • (1) Toxicity test information exists on the mixture itself or adequate information exists to form a valid judgment of the hazardous properties of the mixture itself and the material safety data sheet indicates that the information presented and the conclusions drawn are from some source other than direct test data on the mixture itself, and that a material safety data sheet on each constituent hazardous chemical identified on the material safety data sheet is available upon request;

    • (2) Provision of information on the mixture will be as effective in protecting employee health as information on the ingredients;

    • (3) The hazardous chemicals in the mixture are identified on the material safety data sheet unless it is unfeasible to describe all the ingredients in the mixture, provided that the reason why the hazardous chemicals in the mixture are not identified shall be stated on the material safety data sheet; and

    • (4) A single mixture material safety data sheet may be provided for more than one formulation of a product mixture if the information provided does not vary for the formulation.

  • (d) A manufacturer, importer, or distributor who is responsible for preparing and transmitting a material safety data sheet under the provisions of this Code section shall revise such material safety data sheet on a timely basis, as appropriate to the importance of any new information which would affect the contents of the existing material safety data sheet, and in any event within three months of such information becoming available to the manufacturer, importer, or distributor. Each such manufacturer, importer, or distributor shall provide a copy of the material safety data sheet to employers who have purchased such hazardous chemicals and an electronic copy to the department.

  • (e) Any person subject to the provisions of this Code section shall be relieved of the obligation to provide a direct purchaser of a hazardous chemical with a material safety data sheet if:

    • (1) He or she has a record of having provided the direct purchaser with the most recent version of the material safety data sheet;

    • (2) The chemical is labeled pursuant to:

      • (A) The federal Atomic Energy Act; or

      • (B) The federal Resource Conservation Recovery Act; or

    • (3) The article is one sold at retail and is incidentally sold to an employer or the employer's employees in the same form, approximate amount, concentration, and manner as it is sold to consumers, and, to the seller's knowledge, employee exposure to the article is not significantly greater than the consumer exposure occurring during the principal consumer use of the article.

  • (f) If an employer is not supplied with a material safety data sheet by a manufacturer, importer, or distributor for a hazardous chemical subject to this Code section, such employer shall, within a reasonable amount of time after discovering that a material safety data sheet has not been supplied, use diligent efforts to obtain such material safety data sheet from the manufacturer, importer, or distributor. For purposes of this subsection, "diligent efforts" means a prompt inquiry by the employer to the manufacturer, importer, or distributor of the hazardous chemicals; provided, however, that an independent contractor or subcontractor shall be responsible for obtaining the material safety data sheet for his or her employees in the workplace of another.

  • (g) If after having used diligent efforts, an employer still fails to obtain a material safety data sheet, such employer shall notify the department of the employer's inability to obtain such material safety data sheet.

  • (h) An employer who has used diligent efforts and who has made a documented notification to the department pursuant to this Code section shall not be found in violation of this Code section with respect to the material safety data sheet which was not supplied by the manufacturer, importer, or distributor as required by this Code section.

  • (i) Every employer who manufactures, produces, uses, applies, or stores hazardous chemicals in the workplace shall post a notice as prescribed by rule or regulation promulgated by the department in a place where notices are normally posted, informing employees of their rights under this chapter.

  • (j) Every employer who manufactures, produces, uses, applies, or stores hazardous chemicals in the workplace shall maintain a material safety data sheet for each hazardous chemical which is present in such workplace. All material safety data sheets shall be readily available in the workplace; provided, however, that employers who maintain one or more work areas which are not fixed at specific geographic locations shall be authorized to maintain material safety data sheets for each hazardous chemical used in such work area at a central location.

  • (k)

    • (1) A material safety data sheet may be kept in any form, including operations procedures, and may be designed to cover groups of hazardous chemicals in a work area where it may be appropriate to address the hazards of a process rather than individual hazardous chemicals. The employer shall ensure that in all cases the required information is provided for each hazardous chemical, and is readily accessible during each workshift to employees when they are in their work area; provided, however, that employers who maintain one or more work areas which are not fixed at specific geographic locations shall be authorized to maintain material safety data sheets for each hazardous chemical used in such work area at a central location.

    • (2) Any employee may request in writing and shall have the right to examine and obtain the material safety data sheets for the hazardous chemicals to which he or she is, has been, or may be exposed. The employer shall provide any material safety data sheet within its possession within five of the requesting employee's working days, subject to the provisions of subsection (g) of this Code section. The employer may adopt reasonable procedures for acting upon such requests to avoid interruption of normal work operations.

    • (3) An independent contractor or subcontractor working in the workplace of another employer may request in writing and shall have the right to examine the material safety data sheets for the hazardous chemicals to which such contractor, subcontractor, or employees thereof are, have been, or may be exposed. The employer shall provide any material safety data sheet within its possession within five of the requesting independent contractor's or subcontractor's working days, subject to the provisions of subsection (g) of this Code section. The employer may adopt reasonable procedures for acting upon such requests to avoid interruption of normal work operations.

    • (4) If an employee who has requested a material safety data sheet pursuant to this chapter has not received such material safety data sheet within five of the requesting employee's working days, subject to the provisions of subsection (g) of this Code section, that employee may refuse to work with the chemical for which he or she has requested the material safety data sheet until such material safety data sheet is provided by the employer; provided, however, that nothing contained in this paragraph shall be construed to permit any employee to refuse to perform essential services, as such term is defined by rule or regulation; provided, further, that nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to interfere with the right of the employer to transfer an employee who so refuses to work to other duties until such material safety data sheet is provided, such a transfer not to be considered as a discriminatory act under Code Section 45-22-10. No pay, position, seniority, or other benefits shall be lost for exercise of any right provided by this chapter as a result of such a transfer.

  • (l) No employer shall discharge or otherwise discriminate against an employee for the employee's assertion of the employee's rights under this chapter.

  • (m) For the purposes of this Code section, an employer, independent contractor, or subcontractor shall maintain material safety data sheets for their own workplaces only; provided, however, that employees of such independent contractor or subcontractor, insofar as they are exposed in the course of their employment to hazardous chemicals in other workplaces, shall have the right to examine material safety data sheets for those chemicals to which they are exposed from the workplace employer through a written request to their own employer as provided in paragraph (2) of subsection (k) of this Code section. Nothing contained in this chapter shall be construed to require an employer to conduct studies to develop new information.

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