Revised Hazard Communication Standard
The Occupational Safety & Health Administration's (OSHA) revised Hazard Communication Standard took effect on May 25, 2012 and required mandatory training for most employers across the country on new requirements for chemical labeling and the new Safety Data Sheets by December 1, 2013. The revision aligned OSHA's rules with the internationally accepted Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). Any employer that uses hazardous chemicals in the workplace is subject to the new communication and training requirements. Training issues for employers include:
- Labels--Employers must train employees on new labeling elements including product identifiers, OSHA signal words, pictograms and precautionary statements.
- Safety Data Sheets (SDS)--Employers must train employees on the new standardized format of SDS, formerly known as Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS).
- New Format For Categorizing Hazards--The new system rates the severity of hazards on a five point scale (5=least severe and 1=most severe). The old Hazard Material Identification System (HMIS) and National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) use the opposite (5=most severe and 1=least severe).
The Asmark Institute's new training DVD released in December 2012 contains new GHS information. Contact Kevin Runkle at the IFCA office if you need help complying with the new standard.