by Chris Woolstenhulme, QCC, CMCS, CPC, CMRS
October 2nd, 2014
The Hazard Communication Standard in 1983 gave workers the "right to know," but the new Globally Harmonized System gives workers the "right to understand."
What you need to do and when:
- Chemical users: Continue to update safety data sheets when new ones become available, provide training on the new label elements and update hazard communication programs if new hazards are identified.
- Chemical Producers: Review hazard information for all chemicals produced or imported, classify chemicals according to the new classification criteria, and update labels and safety data sheets.
|Effective Completion Date||Requirement(s)||Who|
|December 1, 2013||Train employees on the new label elements and SDS format.||Employers|
|June 1, 2015*
December 1, 2015
|Comply with all modified provisions of this final rule, except:
Distributors may ship products labeled by manufacturers under the old system until December 1, 2015.
|Chemical manufacturers, importers, distributors and employers|
|June 1, 2016||Update alternative workplace labeling and hazard communication program as necessary, and provide additional employee training for newly identified physical or health hazards.||Employers|
|Transition Period||Comply with either 29 CFR 1910.1200 (this final standard), or the current standard, or both.||All chemical manufacturers, importers, distributors and employers|
* This date coincides with the European Union implementation date for classification of mixtures.
Other U.S. Agencies: The Department of Transportation (DOT), Environmental Protection Agency, and the Consumer Product Safety Commission actively participated in developing the GHS. DOT has already modified its requirements for classification and labeling to make them consistent with United Nations transport requirements and the new globally harmonized system.
Global implementation: The new system is being implemented throughout the world by countries including Canada, the European Union, China, Australia, and Japan.
Additional information: More information on the hazard communication standard, including the link to the Federal Register notice, can be found on OSHA's hazard communication safety and health topics page at www.osha.gov/dsg/hazcom/index.html.