Employers that have not yet provided their employees with recently-mandated OSHA training on the “Globally Harmonized System” (aka GHS) of classification and labeling of chemicals now have a free resource to help them meet their obligation. Today, OSHA Training Services Inc. announced their new GHS Training Resources page on their website.

According to Curtis Chambers, President of OSHA Training Services Inc. and a certified safety professional, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) revised their Hazard Communication standard in March of 2012.

“This revised standard now requires manufacturers and distributors of hazardous chemicals and products to place GHS-compliant labels on all of their containers by June of 2015,” explains Chambers. “However, these newly-formatted labels are expected to start showing up on containers in the workplace very soon, so OSHA is requiring employers to provide training for all of their workers to insure they understand how to read and understand them, and the deadline for that training is December 1st of 2013. Furthermore, as part of the revised OSHA Hazard Communication standard, employee training must also be conducted by that same deadline on how to understand Safety Data Sheets (SDS’s), which are standardized versions of the old material safety data sheets (MSDS’s) that OSHA used to require.”

The GHS Training Resources page on OSHA Training Service’s website (www.oshatraining.com/ghs-training-resources.php) has one toolbox talk posted each month that employers can download for free, and all toolbox talks made available during 2013 are dedicated to one portion of the required GHS training. In addition, the website has links to free online GHS training tutorials that employers can utilize to provide their workers with GHS training. There is also a link to a comprehensive list of training requirements extracted from the Hazard Communication standard, making it easier for employers to ascertain exactly what their requirements are for training workers on this topic.

The OSHA Hazard Communication standard was originally published in 1983, and according to the OSHA website this particular standard is typically one of the most-often cited when federal and state OSHA compliance officers find violations during compliance inspections at businesses and organizations under their jurisdiction. And citations for failure to comply with these regulations often result in the assessment of monetary penalties against the employer.  

“You know OSHA inspections to verify employers have provided employee with the training required by this revised hazard communication standard will be a big priority for compliance officers in the coming years,” warns Chambers.  “And by providing these free GHS training resources, we are not only helping all interested employers comply with the revised rules, but also doing our part to help improve employee safety in workplaces throughout the country.”