Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals

OSHA has revised its Hazard Communication Standard to align with the United Nations globally harmonized system of classification and labeling of chemicals. This will change the labeling elements of hazardous material labels and the Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS), now called Safety Data Sheets(SDS), and the information the labels will contain. The revised standards require employers to train their employees by December 1, 2013. There are a set of required topics that employees must be trained in. Training on label elements must include: product identifier, signal word, pictogram, hazard statement, precautionary statement(s), and chemical manufacturer, distributor, or importer contact information. Training on how an employee might use the labels in the workplace(e.g., to properly store the materials, or for first aid emergencies), and a general understanding of how the elements work together on a label (e.g., if a chemical has multiple hazards, different pictograms are used). Training on the format of the SDS must include information on: standardized 16-section format, how the information on the label is related to the SDS. Remember that OSHA requires employers to present information in a manner and language that their employees can understand. OSHA has a website for more information and training materials to train your employees. You can visit http://www.osha.gov/dsg/hazcom/index.html If you would like to participate in a training, Susan Haddock will be conducting classes here at the Extension Office for more information please visit her website. http://hillsborough.ifas.ufl.edu/prohort/index.shtml or call 813-744-5519.

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