Move Over Santa Claus, Here Comes GHS!

Guest post by Fred Dorman,
Global Solutions Mgr, Business & Channel Development

Some readers may already know the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals or GHS is an internationally agreed-upon system created by the United Nations. It has been designed to replace various classification and labeling standards used in different countries with a consistent labeling system on a global level. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has updated its Hazard Communication Standard to align with this Globally Harmonized System.

So what does this mean for Employers? Much of OSHA’s Hazardous Communication Standard has been changed in this transition and that means manufacturers and employers will have to update their hazard communication program accordingly. The new requirements include:

  • Safety Data Sheets – new sections and information are required for the safety data sheets compared to the old MSDS style sheets
  • Chemical Labeling – labeling changes from MSDS to GHS include revised hazard classification and new pictograms
  • Employee Training – all employees must be trained on the new label requirements and SDS formats

Starting December 1, 2013 employers need to start training employees on the new label elements and SDS format. However this is just the first of three additional phases that will take place over a 2 ½ year period:

  • June 1, 2015 – comply with all modified provisions of this final rule (exception: distributors may ship products labeled by manufacturers under the old system)
  • December 1, 2015 – distributors must ship products with GHS compliant labeling
  • June 1, 2016 – employers to update alternative workplace labeling and hazard communication program as necessary, and provide additional employee training for newly identified physical or health hazards

Visit www.panduit.com/ghs to learn more about how Panduit can help you comply with the recently updated OSHA Hazardous Communication Standard (HCS) (29 CFR 1910.1200) for the classification and labeling of hazardous chemicals.

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