The Occupational Safety & Health Administration, also known as OSHA, is consistently coming out with new or upgraded standards for the industry. For us, it is essential not only to keep up with the latest standards, but to learn how to help those in the industry meet the various requirements. Recently, OSHA issued a new Hazards Communication Standard (HCS) that has aligned with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). OSHA sent out a long preamble, which describes in detail the important points and dates of the standard. Although we have fully condensed the OSHA Preamble on our site, here are the main points you should know:
- What is the new standard? : Fundamentally, any chemical hazards to employees must be communicated to them. When the hazards communication law was first implemented, it was solely a U.S. regulation. Now, as this has become GHS standards, the hazards communication is a worldwide regulation in which all employees know what chemicals and other hazards exist in the workplace. Essentially, America is now getting in line with the world in hazards communications.
- When does the standard go into effect? : Since the ruling was published this past March, the standards have begun going into effect. December 13, 2013 is the date given by OSHA for all employers to train their employees on the new label elements and SDS format. Compliance with all provisions to new labels and safety data sheets must be completed by June 15, 2015, except for distributors, who get up until December 1, 2015. All employers have until June 1, 2012 to update their hazard communication programs.
- What needs to be done by chemical manufacturers? : Hazardous chemicals must be housed in containers with proper information on the labels, including product identification, signal word, hazard statement, pictograms or precautionary statements, and contact information.
Are you beginning to feel the pressure about this regulation? That’s where we step in. Here at Aires, we have the capabilities to help you and your staff meet the new standard. Our training department can aid in the training and updating of your programs and labeling, as well as putting together new safety data sheets. We will communicate with you the proper hazard communications standards!