Office of Environmental Health & Safety

Graham Health Center
408 Meadow Brook Road
Rochester, MI 48309-4452
(location map)
(248) 370-4196
Fax: (248) 370-4376

Michigan Right-to-Know Law at Oakland University

Michigan Right-to-Know Law at Oakland University

The Michigan Right-to-Know (MRTK) law (also called the Hazard Communication Standard) says that you have a right to know the hazards of the materials you handle at work and how to protect yourself from these hazards. This law was established in 1985 by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) to protect workers who handle hazardous materials from the illnesses or injuries that could result from improper handling of these materials.

Hazard Communication (Haz-Com) Tools Required by MRTK:

  1. Labels - Every hazardous product should display a hazard warning label that provides: 
    1. The name/identity of the product
    2. The name and address of the company that manufactured or distributed the product
    3. The product's "physical" hazards, or what injuries it can cause if handled improperly (e.g., whether it is flammable, combustible, explosive, reactive, etc.)
    4. The product's "health" hazards, or what illnesses it can cause if handled improperly (e.g. shortness of breath, eye irritation, dizziness, headache, cancer, etc.)
    5. The label also may provide instructions for safe storage/handling and/or personal protective clothing (e.g. gloves, goggles, etc.) to be worn while handling the product.

  2. Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) - MSDSs pick up where labels leave off. Your department (and the OU Police) should have an MSDS for every hazardous product your department uses (stored in three-ring binders). MSDSs describe the product's ingredients and hazards and ways that workers can protect themselves from these hazards. You must be permitted unrestricted access to MSDSs at all times.

    To view the MSDS glossary and components, click on either link below. You require Adobe Acrobat Reader to open these files. 

  3. Hazardous Material Inventories - Your department (and the Office of EH&S) has a "Hazardous Materials Inventory" that lists all of the hazardous materials used in your department.