OSHA Adopts GHS — Revised Hazard Communication Standard Focuses on Employees Right to Understand

VelocityEHS Reminds Safety Professionals of Upcoming GHS Deadline

GHS means big changes for makers, transporters and users of hazardous chemicals in the United States. Safety Data Sheets, labels and chemical classification to be overhauled.

Chicago, MARCH 20, 2012 — MSDSonline can now report that OSHA has adopted GHS, the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals. On a teleconference call, March 20, 2012, OSHA Director Dr. David Michaels announced the revision to the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) as well as related compliance deadlines affecting chemical manufacturers, distributors and employers.

According to OSHA "The File Rule will be filed on March 20th at the Office of the Federal Register and available for viewing on their Public Electronic Inspection Desk. The Federal Register will publish the final rule on March 26, 2012. The effective date of the final rule is 60 days after the date of publication." More information is available on OSHA's Website at http://www.osha.gov/dsg/hazcom/index.html.

The revised HCS, which OSHA is calling HazCom 2012, is expected to affect every U.S. workplace with exposure to hazardous chemicals, ultimately covering over 5 million facilities and over 40 million workers. The first compliance date employers should be aware of is December 1, 2013 — which is the date by which employees must be trained on the new label and SDS formats. OSHA is calling this standard the "Right to Understand." An update of the "Right to Know" concept behind the former HCS.

“With this latest development, it is time for businesses to get serious about transitioning to GHS,” said Glenn Trout, president and CEO of MSDSonline. “The three main tasks for most businesses are employee training, managing the safety data sheet churn, and making sure the workplace labeling is compliant with GHS.”

Trout added, “I would look to cloud technology for readymade solutions for all three critical GHS transition tasks. For instance, at MSDSonline we’ve been preparing for this outcome for years and in addition to GHS solutions for facilities of every size, we’ve been hosting a series of free Webinars to help employers prepare.”

Click Here to register for our free GHS Webinar series. The presentation is 45 minutes long and covers the major changes GHS brings to the HCS as well as steps employers can take to stay compliant. The presentation has been updated to address new information on OSHA’s adoption of GHS as published in the Federal Register.

Additional information on GHS, including solutions for authoring GHS compliant safety data sheets (SDS) and meeting regulatory reporting obligations can be found at MSDSonline.com and the GHS Answer Center.

About  MSDSonline
Founded in 1996 and based in Chicago, MSDSonline is a leading provider of on-demand EH&S compliance solutions, offering products and services for managing and authoring material safety data sheets (MSDSs), managing hazardous chemical inventories, reporting workplace incidents, training employees and administering other critical EH&S information.  The company’s mission is to provide sustainable solutions that help customers improve employee safety, streamline compliance and reduce potential exposures to workplace hazards and risks.  MSDSonline has been recognized for the last five years on Inc. magazine’s list of America’s 5,000 fastest-growing private companies. More information is available online at www.MSDSonline.com, and on the MSDSonline Blog.