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OSHA Hazard Communication Regulation to Change - Are You Ready for GHS Standards?

While waiting for OSHA to finalize the rules for the Hazard Communication standard in regards to the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS), there are measures your organization can be taking in preparation of the impending regulation changes. GHS standards have been created to fulfill the need for a consistent approach to protecting workers from hazards within the global marketplace.

Training on the changes to your Hazard Communication Written Plan, and how to understand OSHA and GHS regulations prepares your workforce to complete job tasks effectively and safely. Having the proper understanding of a material’s hazards helps workers prevent accidents, and furthermore prepares them with the knowledge of what is needed to handle an emergency, should one occur.

“Hazard Communication: Your Key to Chemical Safety” provides workers with an understanding of the importance of hazard communication, while incorporating some of what they can expect with the GHS changes to OSHA regulations. This course, complete with High-Definition video, prepares workers to recognize hazardous materials, avoid chemical hazards, protect themselves with Personal Protective Equipment, and follow proper procedures if an emergency happens.

GHS standards mainly effect chemical classification, Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS), container labeling, and employee training. The changes to classification, MSDS and container labels will require organizations to re-work their Hazard Communication plans, and consequently train all employees on the updates.

OSHA is currently working on changes to the Hazard Communication standard. Some of these updates include requiring labels and Safety Data Sheets (SDS, formally called MSDS) to comply with GHS standards. There will be new information on labels and on SDS for employees to understand, including pictograms, which are symbols used to depict different types of hazards. It is critical employees are kept updated with the skills and knowledge to decipher the safety information, as they need to be fully prepared before using a hazardous chemical.

To prepare for the new regulations organizations can make sure existing documentation and MSDS are in order. Organizations using supplies from countries that have already adopted GHS standards should already be providing employees with training on the new standards. The transition to meeting new standards requires close-contact with materials suppliers and with employees who work with the hazardous materials. Staying organized and on-top of OSHA regulation changes, will help your organization implement changes more easily within the required time-frame.

Provide employees with the training course “Hazard Communication: Your Key to Chemical Safety”, and start promoting an awareness of the coming changes to OSHA regulations, and the GHS standards already in use by the workforces of over 67 countries. This interactive training course is available on demand, and participants are eligible to earn 0.2 CEUs for successful completion of the program. The latest information from OSHA and more details on GHS standards can be found here.