Title 28
Labor and Labor Relations

Chapter 21
Hazardous Substances Right-To-Know Act

R.I. Gen. Laws § 28-21-11

§ 28-21-11. Exclusions.

(a) This chapter does not apply to any designated substance that is a food, drug, cosmetic, or tobacco product if the substance is intended for personal consumption by employees while in the workplace. Additionally, the chapter does not apply to any consumer product and/or food stuff in its finished state packaged for distribution to and intended or retail sale to and use or consumption by the general public.

(b)(1) This chapter does not apply to hazardous or toxic substances being developed or used only in laboratories; “laboratories” include all laboratories except those laboratories that provide quality control or other support to a manufacturing process or laboratories that produce products for commercial purposes; provided, that:

(i) The employer ensures that labels on incoming containers of hazardous or toxic chemicals are not removed or defaced;

(ii) The employer maintains any material safety data sheets or other pertinent data for incoming shipments of hazardous or toxic chemicals and ensures that they are readily accessible to laboratory employees; and

(iii) The employer shall ensure that laboratory employees are apprised of the hazards of the chemicals in their work place in accordance with subdivision (2) of this subsection.

(2) Laboratory employees information and training. (i) Employers shall provide all employees including support personnel and students with information and training on hazardous and toxic substances in their work area at the time of their initial assignment and whenever a new hazard is introduced into their work area.

(ii) New chemicals being developed in research activities are exempt from the requirements of this subdivision.

(iii) Employees shall be informed of:

(A) The requirements of this section.

(B) Any operations in their work area where hazardous and toxic chemicals are present.

(C) The location and availability of material safety data sheets and other written sources of chemical hazard information.

(iv) Employee training shall include at least:

(A) Methods and observations that may be used to detect the presence or release of a hazardous or toxic substance in the work area, such as monitoring conducted by the employer, continuous monitoring devices, visual appearance or odor of hazardous or toxic chemicals when being released, etc.;

(B) The physical and health hazards of the substances in the work area;

(C) The measures employees can take to protect themselves from these hazards, including specific procedures the employer has implemented to protect employees from exposure to hazardous or toxic substances, such as appropriate work practices, emergency procedures, and personal protective equipment to be used.

(3) Employers shall provide to the person responsible for the administration and direction of a fire department in a fire district or municipality, including a fire chief or fire administrator or that person’s designee:

(i) A list of storage areas, sufficiently identified by name and location, where hazardous and toxic substances in unit quantities greater than two gallons (2 gals.) or 10 pounds (10 lbs.) are stored, including a full description of the types of hazards present on a generic basis rather than for each individual material.

(ii) The person responsible for the administration and direction of a fire department in a fire district or municipality, including a fire chief or fire administrator or that person’s designee, shall maintain the information provided by the employer under paragraph (i) of this subdivision and shall provide copies of this information:

(A) To fire suppression and fire inspection divisions within the same jurisdiction;

(B) Upon request, to any fire department employee or an employee representative of a fire department employee; and

(C) In the event of an emergency, a full list of substances present and involved in the incident shall be made available to fire personnel within forty-eight (48) hours subsequent to the emergency.

(c)(1) This chapter does not apply to any designated substances being transported by truck where the substances are regulated by the United States Department of Transportation under rules and regulations on hazardous and dangerous substances as contained in 49 C.F.R. Compliance with the regulations shall be deemed to satisfy the listing, training, and labeling requirements of this chapter for those employees engaged in the actual transporting of the substance.

(2) For the purposes of this subsection, “transport” means only the actual hauling of manifested products in marked containers.

(d) This chapter does not apply to exposure to any materials removed in actual trash collection. This exclusion shall not apply to substances used in the processing of these waste products.

History of Section.
P.L. 1983, ch. 18, § 1; P.L. 1984, ch. 441, § 1.