Are Your Employees Trained on OSHA’s New HazCom Standard?The Occupational Safety and Health Act’s Hazard Communication (“HazCom”) Standard was recently updated to comport with the international standard. OSHA has penned these changes “Global Harmonization.”
The most dramatic of the HazCom changes relate to labeling and safety data sheets (“SDS”) (formerly known as “material safety data sheets”). There are also changes to the mandatory written HazCom programs. Full implementation is not required until June 1, 2016, but employees must be trained on a variety of HazCom related topics, including the new Global Harmonization Standard, by December 2013.
With regard to labeling, employers must explain the type of information found on the new labels, how this information may be used, and how the elements of the label work together.
With regard to safety data sheets, employers must explain the new standardized format and type of information included in each of its sixteen sections. Employees must also be instructed on how the labels and safety data sheets are related.
More detailed information on what employees need to know can be found in “OSHA FactSheet: December 1st, 2013 Training Requirements for the Revised Hazard Communication Standard,” available at https://www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3642.pdf.
Note that manufacturers, distributers and importers have different obligations under the new HazCom standards and they need not be in full compliance until June 1, 2015.
Should you have any questions regarding the new HazCom Global Harmonization Standard, HazCom training requirements, and/or OSHA in general, please do not hesitate to contact Brian Brittain at (216) 447-1551.