December 1 is the first deadline under OSHA’s new Globally Harmonized System regulation, which requires that employees be trained on the new label elements for chemicals and the new Safety Data Sheet (SDSs) format. Full compliance with the other elements is to begin in 2015.
OSHA requires this training by December 1 because workplaces will soon begin to receive new labels and SDSs, in keeping with the new GHS regulation.
Employees will need to be trained on new GHS label elements that include:
- Symbols (GHS Hazard Pictograms): Assigned to each hazard class and category. Conveys health, physical and environmental hazard information
- Signal Words: “Danger” and “Warning” to emphasize hazards and also indicate the severity level of the hazard
- Hazard Statement: A standard phrase assigned to a hazard class and category that describes the nature of the hazard(s) of a chemical, including where appropriate, the degree of the hazard.
- Additional label requirements: Includes Precautionary Statements, Product Identifier, Supplier Identification and Supplemental Information.
Employees must also be trained on the new Safety Data Sheets. The SDSs are similar to the current MSDSs except the “M” (Material) has been dropped.
- The information required on the SDS is relatively the same as the current MSDS, but the information in the SDS must be presented using specific headings in a specified sequence.
- The GHS rules requires information to be listed under 16 specific headings.
Additional information on the new GHS regulation, including the training requirements:
- OSHA Fact Sheet – “December 1, 2013 Training Requirements for the Revised Hazard Communication Standard”
- Questions and Answers regarding the new GHS regulation on the OSHA website
Please note that some manufacturers have already upgraded their chemical labeling and Safety Data Sheets and may be shipping these containers to your facility. Therefore, completing this training sooner would be beneficial to minimize any confusion your employees may have when they encounter these new labels or read the new SDSs.
If you have any additional questions, please contact Jim Carnahan at firstname.lastname@example.org.