OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) is adopting GHS to provide a single set of criteria for classifying chemicals according to their health and physical hazards, and to bring consistency to the labels and data sheets designed to communicate those hazards. The modified U.S. standard will create global alignment among other OSHA standards and federal U.S. agency regulations. In anticipation of this change, and as an initial step, OSHA requires all U.S. workers who produce or handle hazardous chemicals be trained on the new label elements and format by Dec. 1, 2013.
“This is a significant change for dealing with hazardous chemicals, and it will take time for businesses and workers nationwide to adjust accordingly,” said Nino Granatiero, vice president of Grainger’s safety strategy. “Grainger is working with customers to help ensure their employees are trained to understand the changes. We have the tools and resources to assist organizations in the process toward overall compliance, whether they are in the final stages of meeting the December 1 deadline or are just beginning to work toward that goal.”
The new standard covers millions of U.S. workers, and OSHA expects the modification to prevent hundreds of workplace injuries and illnesses, as well as dozens of fatalities. Once fully implemented, GHS is expected to result in cost savings to U.S. businesses related to productivity improvements by requiring fewer label updates and simpler hazard communication training.
Grainger provides GHS hazard communication training that helps customers meet OSHA’s Dec. 1, 2013 training requirement deadline. The company also offers Grainger MSDS Complete, which provides on-demand access to a suite of tools to help build and maintain a compliant electronic Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) library with more than 4.5 million data sheets. Visit www.grainger.com/safetymanager to learn more about these services or to view GHS-compliant hazardous communication products.
Publication date: 11/18/2013