Do you have everything in order?
OSHA Expecting Employers, Others to be Fully Compliant
With New System of Classification and Labeling
of Chemicals by June 1, 2015
May 15, 2015
Don’t forget that, as part of OSHA’s efforts to bring the United States into alignment with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals, a new HazCom standard is requiring employers, among others, to be in compliance with all modified labeling and the new Safety Data Sheets (SDS) by June 1, 2015.
For years, contractors, as employers, have been required to provide information and training to employees regarding the safe handling of chemicals in the workplace. Key to this safety program has been maintaining a compilation of Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) and training employees on label recognition. Some contractors keep MSDS records only on the products they use; others use generic MSDS “books,” requiring them to verify every product in use is contained in the book but also resulting in unnecessary documents for products not in use, or possibly exposing a contractor to liability for products in use but lacking documentation.
As part of the new standard, this long-standing program is transitioning to new, globally harmonized SDS. This transition will present the product information in a consistent format to facilitate use of the safety information in emergency situations.
What you should have done already …
and how PHCC’s Educational Foundation can help:
By December 1, 2013, employers should have trained employees on how to read, interpret, and use SDS and chemical labels. This HazCom training course (required by OSHA) is still available through the PHCC Educational Foundation’s Virtual University. The training includes learning new label elements (i.e., pictograms, hazard statements, precautionary statements, and signal words) and the SDS format. Click here to register for the course, which is 30 minutes in length and costs $20 per person. PHCC members save 10 percent by entering the code mem10 at checkout.
Full compliance coming soon:
By June 1, 2015, chemical manufacturers, importers, distributors, and employers must be in compliance with all the modified labeling and SDS provisions of this new standard. Employers have an exception to this rule: All employers must update any alternative workplace labeling, update the hazard communication program (including the Safety Data Sheets), and provide additional employee training for newly identified physical or health hazards no later than June 1, 2016. Note: During this transition period (June 1, 2015 – June 1, 2016), employers may comply with the new federal law using either MSDS or SDS.
For more information from OSHA, click here.