The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is reminding employers that the first training deadline for the revised Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) is December 1, 2013. The new requirements align the HCS with the United Nations’ Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS).
The goal is to promote better understanding of chemical risks and safety by ensuring all chemical information is presented in a clear, consistent manner. To make this transition easier, OSHA is phasing in specific GHS requirements over a two-and-a-half-year period ending on June 1, 2016.
The December 2013 compliance date requires employers to train employees on the new label elements and safety data sheet format. According to OSHA, “This training is needed early in the transition process since workers are already beginning to see the new labels and SDSs on the chemicals in their workplace.”
For many businesses, chemicals are an essential part of daily operations. Protect workers exposed to hazardous chemicals by providing thorough training and PPE like safety glasses or goggles, protective clothing, gloves, and respiratory protection.