In 2012 OSHA revised the Hazard Communication Standard, 29 CFR 1910.1200 (HCS), bringing it into alignment with the United Nations’ Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). The goal of these changes is to help ensure improved quality and consistency in the classification and labeling of all workplace chemicals, and will enhance worker comprehension.
MSDSs Are To Be Replaced By Safety Data Sheets (SDSs)
The familiar Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) in use under the HazCom 1994 standard is to be replaced by newer Safety Data Sheets (SDS) that must accompany hazardous chemicals, and are a more complete resource for details regarding hazardous chemicals. The revised standard requires the use of a 16-section Safety Data Sheet format, which provides detailed information regarding each chemical.
Documented Employee GHS Training Required By December 1, 2013
In recognition of this, the revised standard requires that all workers on an employer’s job-site be trained in the revised standard, as well as the use and understanding of both the revised labels and Safety Data Sheets. This required training must be conducted prior to December 1, 2013 for existing workers, and provided to new workers as they are employed or contracted.
The training must be documented. Trainees are to be provided with pocket cards as evidence of compliance. Training rosters or certificates signed by the trainee and instructor, comprehension test results and training outlines are to be retained by both the trainer and the employing/contracting company as a permanent record.