HazCom: Out with the Old, in with the New

Moving ahead with GHS.

We have been talking about Global Harmonization for such a long time, it seems. And now, as we mentioned in our March 23, 2012 blog (GHS is Here!), with the publishing of Federal OSHA’s final rule HCS/HazCom 2012 in March, the time has come!

Federal OSHA modified its Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) to conform to the United Nations’ Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS). OSHA concluded that the improved information will enhance the Chemical Hazard Communication and make it more effective.

Last week, Oregon OSHA held its public hearing on their proposed rule. If you missed the hearing, it was recorded and you can watch it or read more about the proposed rule. Changes will be mostly identical to the federal rule except as they relate to a few substance specific standards that differ from Federal OSHA’s rules. Key changes in Oregon OSHA and federal OSHA’s HCS/HazCom 2012 include:

  • Labels to require standardized signal words, pictograms and precautionary statements.
  • The “Material Safety Data Sheet” of yesterday will be a “Safety Data Sheet” with a standardized and consistent format.
  • Hazard Classification definitions, particularly those of flammable and combustible liquids.

Although there are many new dates as to when different parts of this law are effective, most employees will be expected to be trained on new labels and safety data sheets by December 2013.

Now what? Lots of great opportunities to learn about how to bring your organization into compliance. Within Oregon there are presentations on Haz Com 2012/GHS scheduled for the Central Oregon Occupational Safety & Health Conference (9/19-20/2012), the Southern Oregon Occupational Safety & Health Conference (10/16-18/2012),  the Western Pulp and Paper Workers Safety & Health Conference (11/27-30/2012), and the 2013 Oregon Governor’s Occupational Safety & Health Conference (3/4-7, 2013). Additionally, many organizations including SAIF are providing training and webinars to their policy holders. Check them out and move in with the new.

More HCS/GHS Resources:

Federal OSHA: Hazard Communication

CROETweb Topic: HazCom & GHS

Society for Chemical Hazard Communication

 

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Comments

  1. I have put together a free collection of GHS resources available for download at this URL (http://www.ghskit.com/).

    Included resources:
    Version 3 & 4 of UN Purple Book
    OSHA Final Rule
    GHS Poster
    GHS Label Kit
    GHS Training Certificate
    GHS Hazard Pictogram Pocket Ref. Card
    GHS PowerPoint Presentation
    Feel free to contact me with any questions.

    Best of luck!

    Alfonso Lerma
    a.lerma@online-msds.com
    419-287-6832

  2. The new rules are really worthy to follow. They will reduce the risks potentially and will help the people handle the chemical products more safely. With adequate information on the chemical label, being displayed along with hazard and warning signs, it will be much easier to understand the meaning of the warnings more easily. Also, with the introduction of new rules, there is a need of trained professionals to design the labels more carefully and appropriately.

About the Author

Dede supports the Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences and the Oregon Healthy WorkForce Center's research, engagement and education programs. She is a certified industrial hygienist.

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