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Environmental Health & Radiation Safety
January 27, 2009, Volume 55, No. 19

Access to Employee Exposure Records

The Office of Environmental Health & Radiation Safety (EHRS) monitors employee exposure to toxic substances and harmful physical agents.  EHRS maintains employee exposure records. The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) standard, “Access to Employee Exposure and Medical Records” (29CFR1910.1020) permits access to employer-maintained exposure and medical records by employees or their designated representative and by OSHA.

University employees may obtain a copy of their exposure record by calling EHRS at (215) 898-4453 or by e-mail: ehrs@ehrs.upenn.edu.

Hazard Communication Program

The University of Pennsylvania’s Hazard Communication Program consists of information regarding access to Material Safety Data Sheets, proper labeling of hazardous chemicals, and the hazard communication training programs required for all employees who handle hazardous chemicals as part of their work. 

Penn’s written Hazard Communication Program is available in the Office of Environmental Health & Radiation Safety, 3160 Chestnut Street Suite 400/6287. A library of material safety data sheets (MSDSs) for hazardous chemicals used at the University is on file at EHRS. An MSDS describes the physical and chemical properties of a product, health hazards and routes of exposure, precautions for safe handling and use, emergency procedures, reactivity data, and control measures. Many MSDSs are also available on the web (www.ehrs.upenn.edu/resources/msds/default.html). Copies of MSDS’s for products used in all non-research areas are also maintained at each zone office.

Laboratory workers should refer to Penn’s Chemical Hygiene Plan (www.ehrs.upenn.edu/programs/labsafety/labsafety_manual.html) for additional information concerning the safe handling of chemicals in laboratories.

University employees may obtain an MSDS by calling EHRS at (215) 898-4453 or by e-mail: ehrs@ehrs.upenn.edu

EHRS Training

Training is required by the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) for all employees who work with or ship hazardous substances including: hazardous chemicals, human blood, blood products, fluids, and human tissue specimens. Training is also required by the State of Pennsylvania for all personnel using radioactive materials or radiation producing equipment at the University of Pennsylvania and affiliated institutions.

Penn Profiler is the University’s new web-based application that enables people to self-identify their health & safety training needs and requirements. Training needs are determined by completing a 5-10 minute online survey based on academic activities and/or job responsibilities. All faculty and staff are required to complete the Penn Profiler annually.

Penn Profiler leverages Knowledge Link, a learning management system that keeps track of training requirements and courses taken. Knowledge Link is also used to deliver online training for OSHA required training programs. Dates for live training programs such as Introduction to Laboratory and Biological Safety at Penn are posted in Knowledge Link.  Radiation Safety training is delivered through the EHRS website. 

Additional information can be found on the Penn Profiler website at www.upenn.edu/VPR/profiler/.


Almanac - January 27, 2009, Volume 55, No. 19