At this stage, what should end users know about OSHA’s Globally Harmonized System (GHS)?

The first important milestone for end users was on Dec. 1, 2013. This was the date when HAZCOM 2012 went into effect and OSHA required all employees that work with chemicals to be trained on the new HAZCOM 2012. This included recognition of the label and Safety Data Sheet (SDS) pictograms as well as identification of the new 16 parts that make up an SDS.
The next important date for end users is Dec. 1, 2015. This is the date where all distributors of chemical products will have had to transition to GHS labeling and SDS. I would recommend that they are proactively asking for SDS’s from their chemical distributor and beginning to compile SDS documentation for the products they use, as many products have already been transitioned to GHS. This will help them with compliance on Dec. 1, 2015. – Jason Welch, Micribiologist, Spartan Chemical Company, Inc., Maumee, Ohio

By now, end users should know and understand what the new product labeling/SDS requirements are going to include under the new Globally Harmonized System set forth by OSHA. There are six key items to identify on a GHS compliant product label/SDS: product identifier (name of the product), signal word (degree of hazard, either “Danger” or “Warning”), hazard statements (hazards and conditions in which the hazards might occur), precautionary statements (ways to minimize exposure and avoid the hazard of the chemical), pictograms (help identify what PPE to wear and first aid measures), and supplier identification (name, address and 24-hour telephone number of the supplier or manufacturer).

End users will start seeing changes to product labels anytime, as manufacturers have been converting their labels since OSHA came out with the Final Rule in 2012. By June 1, 2015, manufacturers must comply and only distribute GHS compliant products. For distributors, they can sell product’s bearing the old hazard communication standard requirements up until Dec. 1, 2015. – Aaron Quick, Regulatory Manager, ITW Pro Brands, Olathe, Kansas

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