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August 18, 2012

Revised OSHA Hazard Communication Standard Matches GHS

OSHA published the long-awaited revisions to its Hazard Communications Standard, to align with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). This update to the Hazard Communication Standard will provide a common and coherent approach to classifying chemicals and communicating hazard information on labels and safety data sheets.

OSHA says the new standard will prevent an estimated 585 injuries / illnesses and 43 deaths each year, and result in some $475 million in enhanced productivity for U.S. businesses. Major changes include:
  • Hazard Classification: Provides specific criteria for classification of hGHS Hazmat Labelsealth and physical hazards, as well as classification of mixtures.
  • Labels: Chemical manufacturers and importers will be required to provide a label that includes a harmonized signal word, pictogram, and hazard statement for each hazard class and category. Precautionary statements must also be provided.
  • Safety Data Sheets: Will now have a specified 16-section format.
  • Information and Training: Employers are required to train workers by December 1, 2013 on the new label elements and safety data sheet format to facilitate recognition and understanding.
During the transition period to the effective completion dates noted in the standard, chemical manufacturers, importers, distributors and employers may comply with either 29 Code of Federal Regulations 1910.1200 (the final standard), the current standard or both. ComplianceSigns.com now carries GHS chemical hazard labels in 7 sizes and 3 material options.

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