OSHA GHS Update – The June 1 Deadline

OSHA-compliant label

label example from OSHA Brief 3636

Are you in compliance with the OSHA Hazard Communication Standard, as revised to incorporate the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS)?

June 1, 2015, is an important deadline to meet the revised requirements. By this date, if your operation manufacture, import or distribute chemicals, you must:

  • identify hazards associated with the chemicals you manufacture, import or distribute, using the new “hazard classification” system that replaces the previous hazard determination;
  • properly label all hazardous chemicals shipped with specified label elements including signal word, pictograms, hazard statements and precautionary statements (see example above);
  • prepare and distribute with chemical shipments Safety Data Sheets that comply with the new 16-section format (replacing the former “Material Safety Data Sheet” or MSDS).

OSHA has signaled some leniency with regard to enforcement, particularly with respect to downstream manufacturers and distributors that may have difficulty obtaining hazard data on mixture ingredients from upstream suppliers.

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New OSHA Injury Reporting Requirements Are In Effect

First Aid Kit image

As of January 1, 2015, requirements for workplace injury reporting to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have changed. Employers are now required to report all work-related fatalities within 8 hours and all inpatient hospitalizations, amputations, and losses of an eye within 24 hours of finding out about the incident.

Employers can report these severe incidents to OSHA in one of three ways. You can:

  • call the nearest OSHA area office during normal business hours,
  • call the 24-hour OSHA hotline at (800) 321-OSHA (1-800-321-6742), or
  • report online at www.osha.gov/report_online/. (Note that at the time of this post, the on-line reporting site was not yet up and running.)

Employers under Federal OSHA’s jurisdiction were required to begin reporting by January 1. If your establishment is located in the jurisdiction of a state-run OSHA program, you may want to contact your state agency for the implementation date.