Each year, hazard communication violations are among the most frequently cited by OSHA. In 2012 OSHA revised the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS 29 CFR 1910.1200) to align with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). This change begins June 1, 2015 for manufacturers, importers and distributors of hazardous chemicals.
OSHA’s Brief “Hazard Communication Standard: Labels and Pictograms” (DSG BR-3636 2/2103) states that global label standardization in the manufacture, transport and handling of hazardous chemicals will result in “improved quality and consistency in the classification and labeling of all chemicals, and will also enhance worker comprehension.” This translates to enhanced worker safety, more productivity and less downtime … and hopefully less citations.
The new HazCom/GHS labels must include: 1. Name, address and telephone number of the manufacturer/importer; 2. Product identifier (chemical name, code number and/or batch number); 3. Signal word (Danger or Warning); 4. Hazard and/or precautionary statements; 5. Black GHS pictogram in a red diamond. OSHA requires eight of the nine GHS pictograms: health hazard, flame, exclamation mark/irritant, gas cylinder, corrosion, explosion, flame over circle/oxidizer and skull/crossbones/toxicity. The symbol for environment/ toxicity is optional.
OSHA also revised Safety Data Sheets (formerly called Material Safety Data Sheets/MSDS) into 16 sections and requires organizations to train employees in the GHS pictograms, signal words and new SDS format.