Pesticides and HOSHL (Hawaiʻi Occupational and Safety and Health Law)

Revised 4/3/18

For More Information

Questions or comments about this law and its matching Standards should be directed to the Consultation & Training Branch of the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations. Phone 586-9100 (Honolulu) or write:

Dept. of Labor and Industrial Relations
Division of Occupational Safety and Health
Consultation & Training Branch
830 Punchbowl St.
Honolulu, HI 96813


The Hawaiʻi Department of Labor and Industrial Relations administers the HOSHL, Hawaiʻi Occupational Safety and Health Law.

The HOSHL and the matching Standards1 were written to provide a safe work place for employees. This webpage summarizes only one of the chapters of the Standards, "Hazard Communication" Standards, Chapter 203, which involves hazardous chemicals such as pesticides. (You may have heard the phrase ‘worker Right-to-Know’. This phrase refers to the "Hazard Communication" Standards.)

EMPLOYERS are obligated to meet the requirements set by the "Hazard Communication" Standards. EMPLOYEES are obligated to cooperate with their employers who may set company rules required by the "Hazard Communication" Standards for providing safe working conditions. So although this webpage is written for employers, employees should also be aware of the subject matter covered.

Summary of the "Hazard Communication" Standards (Chapter 203)

Employers are required to:

  1. Compile a list of hazardous chemicals in the workplace and update this inventory;Pesticides such as insecticides, fungicides, herbicides (weed killers), nematicides and disinfectants are a few hazardous chemicals that may be in the workplace. "Flammable", "Caustic" and "Corrosive" words on labels indicate other hazardous chemicals. The Consultation & Training Branch (see above, For More Information) ca n advise you about lists of specific chemicals which are considered to be hazardous.
  2. Make sure chemical containers are properly labeled;
  3. Make the safety data sheet (SDS) available to employees; Each chemical has its own SDS. Employers should get a copy of the SDS for each chemical in the inventory. The SDS's should be kept in an area where employees (on all work shifts) can look at them.
  4. Train employees about the hazards of using the chemical and how to avoid being injured by the chemical. This training includes (but is not limited to):
    How to read and interpret labels and MSDS’s;
    Protective clothing and equipment and safe handling methods;
    How employees may obtain additional information.

Initial training is conducted when an employee is first assigned to work with the chemical (as in the case of a new employee).
On-going training is conducted on a regular basis to review information presented during the initial training. How often this is done depends on the seriousness of the hazards.
Additional training is conducted when new hazards (such a new hazardous chemicals) appear in the workplace.

1 Hawaiʻi Occupational Safety and Health Standards is a set of rules and regulations used as guides for enforcing the HOSHL. These Standards are part of the State of Hawaiʻi’s regulations and are officially designated as Title 12 (Dept. of Labor and Industrial Relations) Subtitle 8 (Division of Occupational Safety and Health) Part 8 (Health Standards).

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