Chemical Safety

Hazard Communication Program/ Material Safety Data Sheets

The purposes of the Hazard Communication Program (HAZCOM) is to ensure that the hazards of all chemicals purchased, used and maintained at the NIU facility are evaluated and controlled and that all information concerning these hazards are communicated to all affected employees. Under this program, employees will be informed of the contents of the HAZCOM standard, the hazardous properties of the chemicals with which they work, safe handling procedures, hazards associated with non-routine tasks, and measures to take to protect employees from these chemicals.


The HAZCOM Standard is now aligned with the United Nations’ Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). This update to HAZCOM will provide a uniform means of classifying chemicals and communicating hazard information on labels and safety data sheets.   Two of the significant changes   to the standard include the use of Pictograms in chemical labeling and a revised standard format for  Safety Date Sheets (SDS’s), formerly known as Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS’s).

Safety Data Sheets (SDS) describes the particular hazards of each chemical; NIU currently maintains a database of SDS's for all chemicals used at the university.  Copies of SDS's are maintained in each department.  In addition EH&S maintains a database of SDS's.  Hard copies SDS' are available from EH&S.