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What You Need to Know about OSHA HAZCOM Standard

OSHA has aligned its Hazard Communication standard last March 2012 with the United Nation and International Labor Organizations Globally Harmonized System of Labeling Chemicals.
This presentation aims to give you an overview of the GHS HAZCOM components.

What is the Globally Harmonized System (GHS)?

GHS stands for Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals. It applies to a wide variety of industries and focuses on the manufacture, labeling, identification of hazards from manufacturers and distributors all over the world.

Whats the need for alignment?

OSHAs previous Hazard Communication standard is being aligned with the GHS to promote safe chemical handling, labeling and transportation of hazardous chemicals across the United States. If the previous Hazard Communication standard established in 1983 gave workers the right to know, the new GHS grants workers the right to understand.

Who will be affected?

Over 5 million workplaces and 43 million workers from the construction and general industries will be impacted by the GHS HAZCOM update. These workers include, but are not limited to, construction workers, lab technicians, pathologists, clean-up and maintenance personnel.

Key Dates:
June 1, 2015 The full implementation of GHS will take effect on this date, which requires manufacturers, importers, distributors and employers to be strictly compliant of the modified standard. However, distributors can still ship chemicals labeled by manufacturers utilizing the old system until December 1, 2015.

Key Dates:
June 1, 2016 This is the deadline of employee training for newly identified hazards. Employers meanwhile should also update the hazard communication program following the identification of new hazards.

Key Vocabularies:
Signal Word Signal words are utilized to communicate the hazard level of the chemical in question, both on the label and the safety data sheets. Pictogram Pictograms are symbols framed by a red border and communicate a hazard. They appear on both the label and the SDS.

Key Vocabularies:
SDS SDS will now be used in replacement of MSDS the acronym for material safety data sheet. The SDS comes in a 16-section format and provides workers comprehensive information on the safe handling of chemicals as well as instructions for mitigation response. Hazard Groups Categories of hazards; are divided into three types: health, physical and environmental hazards.

Key Vocabularies:
Class The term used to identify different hazard types under a hazard group. Category The term used to identify subsections of classes. Categories are represented by letters of numbers. Hazard Statement - The hazard statement is a standardized statement that details a hazard. It appears both on the SDS and the label.

Elements of the GHS HAZCOM standard:

Product Identifiers Signal Words Pictograms Precautionary Statements Safety Data Sheets Supplier Identification

1. Product Identifiers
Product identifiers are printed on the chemical label and Section 1 of the new Safety Data Sheets (SDS). It includes the chemical name, and code or batch number of the chemical. Manufacturers, importers and distributors are the entities that assign product identifiers to chemical substances.

2. Signal Words
Signal words indicate the hazard level of the chemical being handled. Two signal words will now be used in the industry: warning which is used for less severe hazards and danger for more severe ones. Only one signal word will be used on the label.

3. Pictograms
Pictograms are used to indicate the hazard class and categories of the chemical, especially if it features multiple hazards. One pictogram is used for each hazard.

4. Warning Statements
Warning statements or precautionary statements provide protective information about the hazards. They are found on the left-hand side of the label, just below the supplier identification. Precautionary statements are composed of one-liners or quick phrases that provide workers instructions on how to limit their exposure to chemicals and execute emergency response procedures against accidents.

5. Safety Data Sheets

The use of a new safety data sheet format will be implemented beginning on June 1, 2015. Now containing 16 sections, the new SDS will include section numbers, headings, and related information, which aim to explain the hazard recognition elements found on the label.

6. Supplier Identification
The supplier identification provides information on the manufacturer, distributor or importer of the chemical and includes the name, address and telephone number. It is found just below the product identifier on the label.

9 Pictograms Used in GHS

Flame over Circle Oxidizers Flame Flammables; pyrophorics; self-heating; emits Flammable gas self reactives; organic peroxide Skull and Crossbones acute toxicity ( severe)

Exploding Bomb

Explosives; self reactives; organic Peroxides

9 Pictograms Used in GHS

Corrosion - Corrosives Gas Cylinder - Gases under pressure

Health Hazard Carcinogen; mutagenicity; reproductive toxicity; respiratory sensitizer; target organ toxicity; aspiration toxicity

9 Pictograms Used in GHS

Environment Aquatic toxicity Exclamation Irritant; skin sensitizer; acute toxicity (harmful); narcotic effects; respiratory tract irritation; hazardous to ozone layer

16 Components of the New Safety Data Sheets

Supplier Identification; Hazard Identification; Information on ingredients/substances; First-aid measures; Accidental release measures; First-fighting measures; Handling and storage of chemicals; Exposure controls and personal protection;

16 Components of the New Safety Data Sheets

Physical and chemical properties; Stability and Reactivity; Toxicological information; Ecological information; Disposal considerations; Transportation information; Regulatory information; Information on the date of chemical release and last revision of the SDS

What to Expect During Training?

The training about the GHS HAZCOM update should be in a manner and language that workers understand. Needless to say, the trainer should exert all effort and must elaborate on all the details of each of the elements when workers dont understand them before moving on to the next topic. The training should also effectively explain the link between the labels and the SDS. Each section on the SDS sheet must also be explained.

What are the benefits of GHS?

OSHA maintains that the new standard will help prevent over 500 workplace injuries and illnesses as well as 43 fatalities every year. Other benefits of the GHS implementation include: Enhanced worker understanding on hazard recognition, even among workers who had limited schooling or literacy level; reduced confusion on the part of workers when handling and using chemicals

What are the benefits of GHS?

Make information on SDS more accessible Save businesses up to $474 million because of increased productivity, fewer SDS and label updates and simplified HazCom training Reduce trade barriers by unifying chemical handling and distribution globally

F. Marie Athey. (2013). GHS and Hazardous Communication: Are You Ready? Retrieved November 29, 2013 from F. Marie Athey. (2013). A Few Things to Note about the GHS HAZCOM Update. Retrieved November 29, 2013 from F. Marie Athey. (2013). GHS HAZCOM Training Your Right to Know. Retrieved November 29, 2013 from F. Marie Athey. (2013). Barely a Month Left to Meet GHS HAZCOM Requirements Are You Ready? Retrieved November 29, 2013 from F. Marie Athey. (2013). Some Frequently Asked Questions about GHS HAZCOM. Retrieved November 29, 2013 from F. Marie Athey. (2013). New GHS Label Elements that You Should Know About. Retrieved November 29, 2013 from OSHA. (2013). A Guide to The Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals. (GHS) Retrieved November 29, 2013 from