Does your business handle, store, or use chemicals? If so, read on…
The GHS provides a single set of harmonized criteria for classifying chemicals according to their health and physical hazards and specifies hazard communication elements for labeling and safety data sheets. Under the GHS, labels include signal words, pictograms, and hazard and precautionary statements. In addition, safety data sheets have standardized format.
The Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) was amended in 2012 to align with the provisions of the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS). The HCS requires that chemical manufacturers and importers evaluate the chemicals they produce or import and provide hazard information to downstream employers and workers by putting labels on containers and preparing safety data sheets. Under the HCS, all employers must have a hazard communication program for exposed workers, including container labels, safety data sheets, and training. Therefore, all employers in which employees may be exposed to chemical hazards are affected by GHS.
Major changes to the Hazard Communication Standard:
What does this mean for you?
By Dec. 1, 2013 employers must train all employees on the new GHS label elements and the new Safety Data Sheet (SDS) format. The new SDS format will replace existing the existing Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) format.
Most workplaces are now receiving labels and SDSs that are consistent with GHS, since chemical manufacturers have already begun to produce GHS-compliant labels and SDSs. Employers must ensure that when employees begin to see the new labels and SDSs, they will be familiar with them, understand how to use them, and access the information effectively.
Alta can assist you should you need any training assistance. Please contact David Renfrew, at (562) 495-5777 or firstname.lastname@example.org.