OSHA changes are coming. And even though they won’t be effective until December 2015, all medical practices were to have been trained on them by Dec. 1 of this year.
The changes revolve around the Hazard Communication Standard, that is, the way in which the identity and hazards of chemicals are communicated to those handling them. That means things like product labels, material safety data sheets (soon to be know simply as safety data sheets, or SDS) and employee manuals.
The changes are occurring so that the Hazard Communication Standard can be aligned with the Globally Harmonized System (GHS) of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals.
The three major areas of change are:
- Hazard classification: The definitions of “hazard” have been changed to provide specific criteria for classification of health and physical hazards, as well as classification of mixtures.
- Labels: Chemical manufacturers and importers will be required to provide a label that includes a harmonized signal word, pictogram, and hazard statement for each hazard class and category. Precautionary statements must also be provided.
- Safety Data Sheets: Will now have a specified 16-section format.
Read more in the December issue of Repertoire