The new globally harmonized standard is predicted to:
• Prevent 43 deaths annually
• Prevent 500 illnesses annually
• Save approximately 32.2 million dollars annually for American businesses
• Reduce trade barriers
• Improve productivity for American businesses that regularly handle, store, and use hazardous chemicals
Read the complete guide to GHS
What is GHS?
OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard has been revised to align with the United Nations’ Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals. This system, adopted by the U.S. in 2012, aims to create a consistent and clearway in which to classify the hazards that surround chemicals in the workplace and the way in which workers and employers are informed of these hazards.
Major Changes to the Hazard Communication Standard:
• Hazard Classification: Chemical manufacturers and importers are required to determine thehazards of chemicals they produce or import. Hazard classification under the new, updatedstandard provides specific criteria to address health and physical hazards as well as classificationof chemical mixtures.
• Labels: Chemical manufacturers and importers must provide a label that includes a signal word,pictogram, hazard statement, and precautionary statement for each hazard class and category.
• Safety Data Sheets: The new format requires 16 specific sections, ensuring consistency inpresentation of important protection information. View the OSHA SDS Quick Card
• Information and Training: To facilitate understanding of the new system, the new standardrequires that workers be trained by December 1, 2013 on the new label elements and safety data sheet format, in addition to the current training requirements.
What you need to do and when
• Chemical users: Continue to update safety data sheets when new ones become available,provide training on the new label elements and update hazard communication programs if newhazards are identified.
• Chemical producers: Review hazard information for all chemicals produced or imported, classify chemicals according to the new classification criteria, and update labels and safety data sheets.
• Employers: Train workers by December 1, 2013