New 2012 changes to OSHA's Hazard Communication Standard (29 CFR 1910.1200) are bringing the U.S. into alignment with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS), improving safety and health protections for America's workers. These new revisions to OSHA's current Hazard Communication Standard, the GHS is expected to prevent injuries and illnesses, save lives and improve trade conditions for chemical manufacturers. The Hazard Communication Standard in 1983 gave the workers the 'right to know,' but the new Globally Harmonized System gives workers the 'right to understand.'
The new Hazard Communication Standard still requires chemical manufacturers and importers to evaluate the chemicals they produce or import and provide hazard information to employers and workers by putting labels on containers and preparing safety data sheets. However, the old standard allowed chemical manufacturers and importers to convey hazard information on labels and material safety data sheets in whatever format they chose. The modified standard provides a single set of harmonized criteria for classifying chemicals according to their health and physical hazards and specifies hazard communication elements for labeling and safety data sheets.
Major changes to the Hazard Communication Standard:
What you need to do and when:
|Effective Completion Date||Requirement(s)||Who|
|December 1, 2013||Train employees on the new label elements and SDS format.||Employers|
|June 1, 2015
December 1, 2015
|Comply with all modified provisions of this final rule, except:
Distributors may ship products labeled by manufacturers under the old system until December 1, 2015.
|Chemical manufacturers, importers, distributors and employers|
To help employers to comply with these new regulations, National Safety Compliance will be providing updated products that are produced specifically for this new Hazard Communication Standard. All products are expected to be available to ship by April 15, 2012.
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