Roy Maurer, the online editor and manager of the Society for Human Resource Management had some pretty good news for me this week. Roy very kindly attended a webinar I was hosting regarding GHS compliance and used my research as a reference for his article about the upcoming GHS HAZCOM deadline. It was an honor to have my material selected and Roy, and if you’re reading this entry, I’d like to say thank you!
As you may have read, over 5 million businesses will be impacted by the upcoming GHS HAZCOM required training deadline which is December 1, 2013. The deadline focuses on the use of new labels and safety data sheet format. GHS has already been adopted by American and foreign manufacturers so we need to ensure employees are trained before 2015 when manufacturers must be in compliance.
I have to thank Roy for taking note of important aspects of the update, which we haven’t been able to write about in our earlier blog posts. Here are a few of those aspects:
On Label Components
- Pictograms should consist of a diamond red frame and a black hazard symbol on white background.
- More than one pictogram may be present in a label.
- Pictograms should have a hazard symbol. A red border alone is not acceptable.
- The contact details of the chemical manufacturer, distributor or importer are indicated on the label in case additional information on the chemical is needed and in the event that the label is damaged or the SDS sheet is missing.
Using Safety Data Sheets
Standard safety data sheets will now be used across all board. The new SDS covers everything from potential hazards, and recommendations on how to limit occupational exposure to the chemical, perform first aid on exposed personnel, and transporting and disposing the material. Companies should train employees on how to relate the information they see on the label to the SDS.
These are the 16 sections that make up the new SDS:
- Supplier Identification
- Hazard Identification
- Information on ingredients/substances
- First-aid measures
- Accidental release measures
- First-fighting measures
- Handling and storage of chemicals
- Exposure controls and personal protection
- Physical and chemical properties
- Stability and Reactivity
- Toxicological information
- Ecological information
- Disposal considerations
- Transportation information
- Regulatory information
- Other pertinent information such as date of release and last revision
Before signing off, I just want to remind employers to help employees grasp some training topics because there may be issues with a limited vocabulary or perhaps they don’t speak English very well. Employers need to talk to their employees and must make sure that the information is presented in a manner and language that workers understand. Employers can’t just talk about GHS or Hazardous Communication and call it training.
Read our previous blog posts on GHS HAZCOM:
New GHS Label Elements that You Should Know About
GHS HAZCOM Training –Your Right to Know
GHS and Hazardous Communication: Are You Ready?