OSHA requirements are set by statute, standards and regulations. Our interpretation letters explain these requirements and how they apply to particular circumstances, but they cannot create additional employer obligations. This letter constitutes OSHA's interpretation of the requirements discussed. Note that our enforcement guidance may be affected by changes to OSHA rules. Also, from time to time we update our guidance in response to new information. To keep apprised of such developments, you can consult OSHA's website at https://www.osha.gov.

June 30, 1988

Mr. Richard D. Montgomery
Director Safety and Security
Fruehauf Corporation
10900 Harper Avenue
Detroit, Michigan 48213

Dear Mr. Montgomery:

This is in response to your letter of May 27. You have raised two specific questions

Question 1:

Is an employer expected to provide, at no cost, a copy of all material safety data sheets to a representative of his/her employees?


A material safety data sheet is defined as an employee exposure record under OSHA regulation 29 CFR 1910.1020. Whenever an employee representative places an initial request for an exposure record, 1910.1020(e) requires that the employer either (1) provide a copy of the record without cost; (2) make available mechanical copying facilities; or (3) loan the record for a reasonable period of time. An employer may charge administrative costs for a second and any subsequent request for the same record by the same employee group.

Question 2:

Is an employer required to provide a copy of the Hazard Communication Program, and if so, does this include training aides such as video tapes?


The Hazard Communication Standard at 1910.1200(e)(4) requires that the employer make the written hazard communication program available, upon request, to employees and their designated representatives. Audio-visual training aides are not part of the written program and therefore are not subject to this requirement.

I hope that this information is helpful to you. If I can be of further assistance, please feel free to contact me again.


Thomas J. Shepich, Director
Directorate of Compliance Programs