In 2013, OSHA revised its Hazard Communication (Hazcom) Standard to align with the United Nation’s Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). Affecting mostly chemical manufacturers, distributors, and importers, the major changes to the Hazcom Standard require a new hazard classification system for chemicals, new labeling of chemical containers, standard formatting for safety data sheets (SDS), previously called material safety data sheets, and updated employee information and training.
Most of the requirements have a compliance date of 2015 for manufacturers, with a final compliance date of June 2016 for employers. As of June 1, 2015, chemical manufacturers need to begin providing updated SDSs with their shipments to customers along with updated labels on their shipment containers. Chemical distributors have until December 1, 2015 to meet the new labeling and SDS requirements for chemical shipments.
Employers should replace old MSDSs with the new SDSs that they receive, on an ongoing basis. Employers have until June 1, 2016, to update alternative workplace labeling on secondary containers and the office’s hazard communication program, as well as provide additional employee training for newly identified physical or health chemical hazards.
For our OSHA Review Subscribers: The March/April 2013 issue of OSHA Review, in Section VI of your binder, covered the new hazcom requirements, as well as included an updated template hazard communication plan. This template plan can also be downloaded from OSHA Review’s website – www.oshareview.com, in the clients-only section under Professional Documents.
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