“Exposure to hazardous chemicals is one of the most serious threats facing American workers today.”– Hilda Solis, U.S. Secretary of Labor
OSHA has revised the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) to align with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). The following is a summary of the major changes to the standard.
- HAZARD CLASSIFICATION: Provides specific criteria for classification of health and physical hazards, as well as classification of mixtures.
- LABELS: Chemical manufacturers and importers will be required to provide a label that includes a harmonized signal word, pictogram, and hazard statement for each hazard class and category. Precautionary statements must also be provided.
- SAFETY DATA SHEETS: Will now have a specified 16-section format.
- INFORMATION AND TRAINING: Employers are required to train workers by December 1, 2013 on the new labels elements and safety data sheets format to facilitate recognition and understanding.
For more information regarding these changes, along with answers to frequently-asked questions, please visit https://www.osha.gov/dsg/hazcom/