Posted on February 12, 2015
The deadline of June 1, 2015, for compliance with the new Globally Harmonized System (GHS) for classifying and communicating chemical hazards is quickly approaching. Some facilities are not ready to comply. The goal of this new regulatory requirement is to standardize all chemical hazard label and Safety Data Sheet (SDS), formally known as Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS), information on a global scale. Currently, many different countries have different systems for the classification and labeling of chemical products and even sometimes have multiple classification systems within the same country. All these differences cause extra expenses to the governments who regulate and enforce the systems as well as to the companies who are forced to comply with many different systems. It is also very important for workers who are handling chemicals to understand the hazards to which they are being exposed in order to reduce the risk of an accident, and these multiple systems make it hard for the workers to understand the hazards. The new GHS system simplifies the chemical hazard communication by using pictures to describe each hazard, and pictures communicate across all languages. What some facilities may not know is the deadline to train employees on the new label elements and SDS format has long passed. It was December 1, 2013, so it is very important to get this done as quickly as possible to be in compliance and most importantly, to keep your employees safe. GHS will promote regulatory efficiency; facilitate trade; ease compliance; reduce costs; provide improved and consistent hazard information; encourage the safe transport, handling, and use of chemicals; and promote better emergency response to chemical incidents; therefore, the people most directly affected with the updates will be workers, transport workers, emergency responders, and consumers. Environmental 360’s team includes safety professionals and industrial compliance experts who can train any of these types of employees on the new label elements including the product identifier, pictograms, signal words, hazard statements, supplier identification, precautionary statements, and supplemental information and the new 16 section SDS format. Environmental 360 can also create a compliance plan for your facility to guide in the transition making the facility safer. This safer environment will help ensure OSHA compliance, increase efficiency of labor in the facility, reduce accidents and illnesses, and reduce liability.
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