On Monday, March 26, 2012, OSHA published the Final Rule on the revised Hazard Communication Standard to align with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). In an August 2011 blog (available in the MEMIC Safety Net archive section) the rationale behind the alignment and revision was explained. At that time, the final rule was anticipated in September. However, the comment and approval process took longer than expected and this resulted in the March 26th final rule publication.
OSHA has posted a Fact Sheet on their website that outlines the benefits and major changes of the revised standard as well as the requirements and effective completion dates. Here’s a summary of the completion dates, compliance requirements, and effected parties included in the fact sheet.
Employers should contact their chemical product suppliers to request a safety data sheet (SDS) using the existing material safety data sheet (MSDS) binder as a reference. As the new safety data sheets are compiled, the MSD sheets should be archived and retained.
Employers should then begin to train their employees on the 16 section format of the safety data sheet and new label elements with hazard pictograms and signal words.