When learning the new GHS standards it is important know why HAZCOM training is aligned with Globally Harmonized System (GHS) of labeling and classification of chemicals. According to OSHA estimation around 50 million American workers are exposed to hazardous chemicals in their workplaces.
What motivated OSHA to align GHS with HCS? Universally recognized and understood chemical hazards labeling and the continued high number of citations issued by OSHA in the year 2012. OSHA issued around 4,696 citations for hazard communication and most of them were due to lack of training, failing to label chemicals, employee access to material safety data sheets, and also lacking the correct material safety data sheet.
What is Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals?
OSHA revised its Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) in March 2012 to align with United Nation Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals. Nations have already recognized that chemicals hazards must be classified and labeled under a universally understood communication system to avoid risk to human health and the environment.
Who is Affected by GHS Labeling System of Chemicals?
Chemical manufacturers are affected by the new GHS labeling system. To eliminate the language barrier and workplaces where employees handle chemicals, those employees need to understand the new labels and SDS. The United States introduced GHS standards to be followed globally by using labeling signs and signal words “Warning” or “Danger” and pictograms which are easy to understand no matter what country you work in.
The important part to keep in mind is OSHA has given a deadline for all chemicals manufacturers and workers that workers need to be trained on GHS and OSHA HAZCOM Training by December 1st 2013 which is approaching fast. Are your workers trained?