Title 28
Labor and Labor Relations

Chapter 21
Hazardous Substances Right-To-Know Act

R.I. Gen. Laws § 28-21-2

§ 28-21-2. Definitions.

For the purpose of this chapter, the terms defined in this section have the following meanings. Where terms are not defined, the ordinarily accepted meanings within the proper context apply:

(1) “Chemical name” means the scientific designation of a substance in accordance with the nomenclature system developed by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry or the Chemical Abstract Service Rules of Nomenclature.

(2) “Common name” means any designation or identification, such as trade name or number or code name or brand name, used by the employer to identify a substance other than by its chemical name.

(3) “Designated substance” means any substance contained within the list of toxic or hazardous substances covered by this chapter provided they are in quantities exceeding two gallons (2 gals.) or 10 pounds (10 lbs.) of the substance within the workplace, except in the case of carcinogens, mutagen, or teratogen which shall be reported if the concentration is equal to or greater than one part of the substance per ten thousand (10,000) by volume, and provided further that nothing contained in this definition precludes the director of labor and training from establishing more stringent standards pursuant to rules and regulations in conformity with the administrative procedures act, chapter 35 of title 42.

(4) “Employee” means a person who is:

(i) A current employee;

(ii) A former employee whose physician has reason to believe that an illness or injury may be related to former employment;

(iii) An employee assigned or transferred to work where there will be exposure to designated substances; or

(iv) Any worker who may be exposed under normal conditions of use or foreseeable emergency to designated substances; and

(v) Includes employees of the state or one of its political subdivisions.

(5) “Employee representative” means any attorney, physician, or employee organization that represents an employee or employees in a company.

(6) “Employer” includes an individual, partners, associations, corporations, business trusts, or any persons or group of persons acting directly or indirectly in the interest of an employer in relation to an employee.

(7) “Expose” or “exposure” means any situation arising from work operation where an employee may ingest, inhale, absorb through the skin or eyes, or otherwise come into contact with a designated substance. The contact shall not be deemed to constitute exposure if the designated substance present is in a physical state, volume, or concentration for which there is no valid and substantial evidence that any adverse acute or chronic risk to human health may occur from the contact.

(8) “Hazardous substance” is any chemical substance listed in the latest edition of the chemical data section of the “Fire Protection Guide on Hazardous Materials” as published by the National Fire Protection Association.

(9) “Immediate use” means the hazardous substance will be under the control of and used only by the person who transfers it from a labeled container and only within the work shift in which it is transferred.

(10) “Mixture” means any solution or intimate admixture of two (2) or more substances that do not react chemically with each other.

(11) “Substance” means any element, entity, compound, combination, or any mixture thereof whether organic or inorganic.

(12) “To store” means to deposit or place a substance in a locale for a period of forty-eight (48) hours or more.

(13) “Toxic substance” is any chemical substance listed in the latest edition of “Threshold Limit Value for Chemical Substance in the Work Environment” as published by the American Conference of Governmental and Industrial Hygienists and the list of carcinogens as published by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.

(14) “Work area” means any room or defined space, whether within or outside of a building or other structure, where toxic or hazardous substances are present.

(15) “Workplace” means an establishment or business at one geographic location containing one or more work areas.

History of Section.
P.L. 1983, ch. 18, § 1; P.L. 1984, ch. 441, § 1; P.L. 1987, ch. 250, § 1.