2019 Georgia Code
Title 45 - Public Officers and Employees
Chapter 22 - Public Employee Hazardous Chemical Protection and Right to Know
§ 45-22-2. Definitions

Universal Citation: GA Code § 45-22-2 (2019)
  • As used in this chapter, the term:
    • (1) "Appointing authority" means a person or group of persons authorized by law or delegated authority to make appointments to fill employee positions in the legislative, judicial, or executive branch of state government.

    • (2) "Article" means a finished product or manufactured item:

      • (A) Which is formed to a specific shape or design during manufacture;

      • (B) Which has end use functions dependent in whole or in part upon its shape or design during end use; and

      • (C) Which has either no change of chemical composition during end use or only those changes of composition which have no commercial purpose separate from that of the article.

    • (3) "Chemical name" means the scientific designation of a chemical in accordance with the nomenclature system developed by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry or the system developed by the Chemical Abstracts Service.

    • (4) "Common name" means any designation or identification such as a code name, code number, trade name, or brand name used to identify a chemical other than by its chemical name.

    • (5) "Contractor," "independent contractor," or "public contractor" means any person under a contract or agreement to provide labor or services to a public employer.

    • (6) "Department" means the office of the Safety Fire Commissioner.

    • (7) "Distributor" means an individual or employer, other than the manufacturer or importer, who supplies hazardous chemicals directly to users or to other distributors.

    • (8) "Employee" or "public employee" means any person who is employed by any branch, department, board, bureau, commission, authority, or other agency of the state and any inmate under the jurisdiction of the Department of Corrections performing a work assignment which requires the handling of any hazardous chemicals. Such term shall not include those employees of the Environmental Protection Division of the Department of Natural Resources who are responsible for on-site response and assistance in the case of environmental emergencies while such employees are engaged in responding to such emergencies.

    • (9) "Employer" or "public employer" means any branch, department, board, bureau, commission, authority, or other agency of the state which employs or appoints an employee or employees. An independent contractor or subcontractor shall be deemed the sole employer of its employees, even when such employees are performing work at the workplace of another employer.

    • (10) "Exposed" or "exposure" means that an employee is required by a public employer to be subjected to a hazardous chemical in the course of employment through any route of entry, including but not limited to, inhalation, ingestion, skin contact, or absorption and includes potential or accidental exposure.

    • (11) "Hazardous chemical" means any chemical which is a physical hazard or a health hazard.

    • (12) "Health hazard" means a chemical for which there is statistically significant evidence based on at least one study conducted in accordance with established scientific principles that acute or chronic health effects may occur in exposed employees and shall include all examples of hazardous chemicals to which reference is made in the definition of "health hazard" under the Occupational Safety and Health Administration standard, 29 C.F.R. Section 1910.1200 (1987).

    • (13) "Importer" means the first individual or employer within the Customs Territory of the United States who receives hazardous chemicals produced in other countries for the purpose of supplying them to distributors or users within the United States.

    • (14) "Manufacturer" means a person who produces, synthesizes, extracts, or otherwise makes hazardous chemicals.

    • (15) "Material safety data sheet" means the document prepared by manufacturers in accordance with the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration standard, 29 C.F.R. Sections 1910.0000 through 1910.1500 (1987) and containing the following information:

      • (A) The chemical name and the common name of the hazardous chemical;

      • (B) The hazards or other risks in the use of the hazardous chemical, including:

        • (i) The potential for fire, explosion, corrosivity, and reactivity;

        • (ii) The known acute and chronic health effects of risks from exposure, including the medical conditions which are generally recognized as being aggravated by exposure to the hazardous chemical; and

        • (iii) The primary routes of entry and the symptoms of overexposure;

      • (C) The proper precautions, handling practices, necessary personal protective equipment, and other safety precautions in the use of or exposure to the hazardous chemicals, including appropriate emergency treatment in case of overexposure;

      • (D) The emergency procedures for spills, fire, disposal, and first aid;

      • (E) A description in lay terms of the known specific potential health risks posed by the hazardous chemical intended to alert any person reading this information; and

      • (F) The year and month, if available, that the information was compiled and the name, address, and emergency telephone number of the manufacturer responsible for preparing the information.

    • (16) "Mixture" means any combination of two or more chemicals, if the combination is not, in whole or in part, the result of a chemical reaction.

    • (17) "Occupational Safety and Health Administration standard" means the Hazard Communication Standard issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 29 C.F.R. Sections 1910.0000 through 1910.1500 (1987).

    • (18) "Person" means any individual, natural person, public or private corporation, incorporated association, government, government agency, partnership, or unincorporated association.

    • (19) "Physical hazard" means a chemical for which there is scientifically valid evidence that it is a combustible liquid, a compressed gas, explosive, flammable, an organic peroxide, an oxidizer, pyrophoric, unstable (reactive), or water reactive.

    • (20) "Produce" means to manufacture, process, formulate, or repackage.

    • (21) "Work area" means a room inside a building or structure, an outside area, or other defined space in a workplace where hazardous chemicals are produced, stored, or used and where employees are present in the course of their employment.

    • (22) "Workplace" means an establishment or business at one geographic location at which work is performed by a state employee and which contains one or more work areas. In the case of an independent contractor or subcontractor, the workplace shall be defined as all work areas wholly owned or controlled by such independent contractor or subcontractor.


Code 1981, § 45-22-2, enacted by Ga. L. 1988, p. 1778, § 1; Ga. L. 1991, p. 1304, §§ 1-5; Ga. L. 2015, p. 911, § 1/HB 278; Ga. L. 2017, p. 774, § 45/HB 323.

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