As the dust settles around OSHA’s final rule on Hazard Communication, it is easy to see how this is going to affect safety programs at small businesses in the automotive industry. This final rule will become effective, in part, on June 26, 2012, with a built-in transition period and a fully effective date of June 1, 2016.
The standard changes OSHA’s current hazard communication requirements to conform to the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) and international trade laws. There are three parts of OSHA’s Hazard Communication Requirement that will be affected: system-labels, SDSs, and employee training.
Part of the new requirement mandates that labels will contain a signal word, pictogram, hazard statement and precautionary statement for each hazard class and category. Labels will also have to disclose voluntary threshold limit values (TLVs) established by the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH). They will also disclose carcinogen status from nationally and internationally recognized lists of carcinogens.
Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) becomes Safety Data Sheets (SDS)
Under the new rule, hazards will be communicated through a set of 16 hazard categories, including a new category of hazards – “Hazards Not Otherwise Classified” and labels will also include combustible dust in the definition of “hazardous chemical.”
Employee training will have to be updated so that employees are knowledgeable about the new system labeling requirements and new hazard classifications. The training requirement will go into effect December of 2013.
The final standard can be found on OSHA’s website. Compliance guidance on the new standard, including Highlights and FAQ, OSHA Fact Sheet and OSHA Quick Cards, can be found on the agency’s website as well.
What’s your take on the changes to the hazard communication standard? Is your safety program ready for this new rule? Leave a comment and share your thoughts with the KPA blog community.