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GHS Hazard Communications

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Starting in 2013, OSHA began the phased implementation of new a Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) aligned with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). Under the new rules, workers must be trained to understand and apply GHS-compliant labels and safety data sheets (SDSs), and chemical manufacturers, distributors, and importers must label have GHS-compliant labels and SDSs for their products. The new GHS HCS rules are intended to ensure that workers understand and can identify any potential hazards associated with the use of or exposure to chemical materials in the workplace. Although the general premise of the standard has not changed, the types of hazards identified and the way those hazards are communicated has. The revisions to OSHA's standard aim to ensure that true potential hazards are identified, helping to minimize workplace complacency associated with the over-warning that accompanied previous material safety data sheet (MSDS).

 

GHS Implementation Dates

  • November 2009  OSHA issues notice of proposed rulemaking to update its Hazard Communications Standard (HCS) to align with the United Nations' Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS).
  • March 2012  Final HCS revision published in the Federal Register. Chemical manufacturers, distributors, and importers may begin using new GHS-compliant labels.
  • Dec. 1, 2013  Workers must be trained to understand and apply GHS-compliant labels and the new safety data sheet (SDS) format.
  • June 1, 2015  Chemical manufacturers, distributors, and importers must have all product labels and SDSs in the GHS format.
  • Dec. 1, 2015  Products with old labels may no longer be shipped.
  • June 1, 2016  Workplace labeling and HCS programs must be fully in line with GHS. Additional worker training for newly identified physical or health hazards may be required.

 

To aid asphalt pavement mix producers in ensuring their compliance with GHS HCS rules, NAPA has developed several materials and associated guidance, including an employee training tool.

 

 

Additional information and resources can be found on OSHA's Hazard Communications microsite.