All Employers with Employees Assigned
to Work with Hazardous Substances
June 1, 2016
Contact HR On-Call
On June 1, 2016, the final deadline in the 4-year phase-in period for OSHA’s revisions to the hazard communication standard takes place. These revisions, initiated in 2012 to align with the Globally Harmonized System (GHS) for the Classification and Labelling of Chemicals, required employers to train employees and implement certain safety labels in a four-phase plan.
This final step requires employers to update their alternative workplace labelling and written hazard communication program, if necessary, and provide additional employee training for newly identified physical and health hazards. Alternate labelling systems such as HMIS or NFPA labels may still be used on the conditions that (a) the information on those labels does not conflict with information on current safety data sheets (SDS) and (b) workers always have immediate access to complete information about chemical hazards in their work areas. Employers may also utilize their own labeling system so long as it complies with the hazard communication standard; requirements may be reviewed on the OSHA website.
Additionally, employers who use, store, or handle toxic and hazardous substances covered by specific OSHA standards are required to post GHS-compliant warning signs in all work areas where employees may be exposed to these substances.
- Conduct an audit of your company’s chemical inventory list, verifying that your company keeps the most current SDS for your supplies on hand, in a location easily accessible to all employees.
- Compare new SDSs to older material safety data sheets (MSDS) to look for newly identified hazards, which may require additional employee training.
- Conduct an audit of all in-house labeling systems to ensure that all required hazard information is presented.
- Ensure all employees are trained on in-house labeling systems, as well as the location of the SDSs.
- Contact ManagEase at (888) 230-3231 for assistance in conducting a safety assessment, or to schedule general safety or Hazard Communication/GHS training.
Disclaimer: This document is designed to provide general information and guidance concerning employment-related issues. It is presented with the understanding that ManagEase is not engaged in rendering any legal opinions. If a legal opinion is needed, please contact the services of your own legal adviser.
© 2016 ManagEase, Incorporated.