Employers, are you aware that OSHA’s Hazard Communication standard is now aligned with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS)? This update to the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) will provide a unified approach to classifying chemicals and communicating hazard information on labels and safety data sheets. During the current transition period through the effective completion dates you may comply with the current standard, the revised standard, or both. However:
- By December 1, 2013 you must ensure that your employees have been trained on the new label elements http://www.osha.gov/Publications/HazComm_QuickCard_Labels.html and safety data sheet (SDS) format http://www.osha.gov/Publications/HazComm_QuickCard_SafetyData.html.
- As of June 1, 2015, the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) will require pictograms on labels to alert users of the chemical hazards to which they may be exposed. Each pictogram http://www.osha.gov/Publications/HazComm_QuickCard_Pictogram.html consists of a symbol on a white background framed within a red border and represents a distinct hazard(s). The pictogram on the label is determined by the chemical hazard classification.
- By June 1, 2016 you must update all alternative workplace labeling and hazard communication programs as necessary, and provide additional employee training for newly identified physical or health hazards.
The HCS provides employees with the right-to-know the hazards and identities of the chemicals they are exposed to in the workplace and gives employers the information they need to design and implement an effective protective program for employees potentially exposed to hazardous chemicals. For more information on improving safety and health in your workplace, please contact the UVICELL Safety In Paradise office on St. Thomas at 693-1146, on St. Croix at 713-1619 or via email at email@example.com.