Back in 1984, the Massachusetts Right to Know Law became effective. At first, this law only applied to the private and public sector in Massachusetts. Over time, Federal OSHA began to regulate the private sector with similar requirements under the Hazard Communication Standard. At this time, the RTK Law ONLY applies to State, county and municipal workplaces in the state of Mass.
What is the Right to Know Law?
This law requires that information on chemical hazards be given to employees. This means that it is mandatory to provide the employees in your shop with access to the Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs). It also means that you must label ALL containers and train ALL employees on safe work procedures.
As the owner of a garage and auto body shop in Massachusetts, it is important to be familiar with this law. Many of your employees are working with chemicals day in and day out. If you are not complying with this law, you could find yourself in trouble much sooner than later.
The employees in your shop have certain rights under this law, and it is important that you are aware of them. Their rights include:
• The right to request a copy of a MSDS
• The right to refuse to work if an MSDS is not provided (certain circumstances)
A frequently asked question about MSDS sheets, though: Does OSHA Really Require Employers to Keep MSDSs for 30 Years? The short answer for this is, no. The longer answer? Be sure to come back in the next few weeks and you will find out!
If you are interested in hearing more about the Right to Know Law, do not hesitate to reach out to our experts at Wolpert Insurance. While we may be your go-to for garage insurance concerns, we are also educated in the garage and auto body shop field. We would be happy to share our knowledge on the subject.
Be sure to come back in the next few weeks – we will be discussing this law in depth and answering a few FAQ!