Monday, June 18, 2012

OSHA Adopts Globally Harmonized System – Now What?

In March 2012, OSHA revised the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS, HazCom) to align with the Globally Harmonized System (GHS). The Occupational Health & Safety Administration (OSHA) is calling the revised standard HazCom 2012. One hopes all affected manufacturers, distributors, and employers are aware by now that a change has taken place and have assigned personnel to manage their transitions to HazCom 2012.

To comply, manufacturers and distributors must reclassify their chemical and provide GHS-formatted safety data sheets and labels to downstream users. Employers must train their employees on GHS and make any necessary update to their hazards programs and workplace labeling strategies. Bottom line: Manufacturers, distributors, and employers have work ahead of them to bring their organizations into compliance with the revised standard. But where should companies start?

(This article originally appeared in the June issue of Occupational Health & Safety magazine , vol 81, No. 6).

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