December 6, 2013: Major changes to the Hazard Communication Standard
The federal OSHA Hazard Communication Standard (HCS; 29 CFR 1910.1200) is often described as giving employees the "right to know" about the hazards of chemicals in the workplace. Recently, the HCS was aligned with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS), an international approach to hazard communication. This new approach empowers employees with the "right to understand" chemical safety information. Specific changes in the standard include:
Hazard classification: Provides detailed criteria for classification of health 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 labels elements and safety data sheets format to facilitate recognition and understanding.
Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) encourages the campus community to take advantage of training opportunities, information, and resources that focus on the Hazard Communication Standard and the new GHS provisions. For additional information, please call (208) 885-6524 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.