The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has finally enacted a long-anticipated revision of the hazard communication standard to align it with the United Nations’ Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals. The intent of the revision is to better protect workers from hazardous chemicals and help American businesses compete in a global economy.
The major changes include changes to how hazards are classified (new specific criteria), labels (a new harmonized signal word, pictogram and hazard statement), safety data sheets (a new specified 16-section format), and information and training requirements on all of the above that must be completed by December 1, 2013. Employers must comply with all modified provisions of the final rule by June 1, 2015.
Click here for a link to OSHA’s webpage detailing specifics on the changes and the timeline for compliance.
MSEC will provide you with guidance and assistance on implementing these changes to your hazard communication programs as it becomes available.