The GHS Transition

10 Most Important Details to Cover in Your GHS Training

Date First Published on SafetySmart Compliance: November 25th, 2013
Topics: GHS Transition | HazCom |

Are you prepared to meet the Dec. 1, 2013 GHS training deadline?Here are the 10 things you need to ensure your workers understand about GHS.

WORKERS MUST RECEIVE INFORMATION & TRAINING ABOUT:

1. General Physical and Health Hazards of Chemicals

Current Hazcom: “Physical and health hazards” of chemicals in their work area

GHS: “Physical, health, simple asphyxiation, combustible dust and pyrophoric gas hazards, as well as hazards not otherwise classified” of chemicals in their work area

HOW TO READ THE CHEMICAL LABEL:

By December 1, 2013, all workers must be able to read both the current Hazcom chemical label and the new GHS label, including:

                Current Hazcom Label                                                                       GHS Label

Are you prepared to meet the Dec. 1, 2013 GHS training deadline?

2. How Chemical Is Identified

Hazcom: Identity, i.e., the chemical or common name of the product listed on the label (which should correspond to what’s listed on the MSDS)

GHS: Product identifier, i.e., chemical name, code number or batch (which should correspond to what’s listed on the SDS)

3. Signal Words

Hazcom Label: Signal words not required to be listed

GHS Label: Signal words must be listed to indicate severity of hazard. 2 signal words:

  • Danger for severe hazards; and
  • Warning for less severe hazards

Where products contain “Danger” and “Warning” chemicals, the label should list “Danger” only

4. Hazard Statements & Warnings

Hazcom Label: Hazard warning(s), i.e., words, pictures, symbols or a combination that convey chemical’s physical and health hazards and effect on organs

GHS: Hazard statement(s), i.e., describing the nature of a chemical and degree of hazard, e.g., “Causes damage to kidneys through prolonged or repeated exposure when absorbed through the skin.”

5. Pictograms

Hazcom Label: Pictograms not required on current Hazcom label

GHS Label: Label must list or more of following 9 pictograms in the shape of a square set at a point that include a black hazard symbol on a white background with a red frame that’s wide enough to be “sufficiently visible.”

Are you prepared to meet the Dec. 1, 2013 GHS training deadline?

6. Precautionary Statements

Hazcom Label: Precautionary statements not required on current Hazcom label

GHS Label: Label must list precautionary statement, i.e., phrase that describes recommended measures to prevent harmful effects of exposure or improper storage or handling of the chemical

7. Proper Use of Label

Hazcom Label: Use instructions not expressly required to be listed on current Hazcom label

GHS Label: OSHA Guidance says GHS training should explain how workers should use the labels. Examples—explain how information on the label might be used to:

  • Quickly locate first aid information; and/or
  • Ensure proper storage of chemical.

8. How Label Elements Work Together

Hazcom Label: Not expressly required on current Hazcom label

GHS Label: OSHA Guidance says GHS training should explain how the various elements of the GHS label work together: Examples—explain that:

  • When there are similar precautionary statements for a chemical, the one providing the most protective information will be listed on label; and/or
  • Where a chemical has multiple hazards, different pictograms will be used to identify each of them.

HOW TO READ THE NEW SAFETY DATA SHEET (SDS):

By December 1, 2013, all workers must be able to read the current Hazcom MSDS and the new SDS.

9. The MSDS/SDS Format

MSDS: Workers must know that under current Hazcom rules, MSDS must list the following information (without specifying a format):

  • Chemical’s identity;
  • Physical and chemical characteristics;
  • Physical hazards;
  • Health hazards;
  • PELs, ACGIH TLVs and other exposure limits;
  • Whether chemical listed in National Toxicology Program Annual Report on Carcinogens;
  • General precautions for safe handling and use;
  • General control measures;
  • Emergency and first aid procedures;
  • Date of preparation or most recent revision; and
  • Name, address and phone number of chemical’s manufacturer, importer or other responsible party that prepared or distributed MSDS

SDS: Workers must know that under GHS, MSDSs are becoming SDSs which will have a standardized 16 section format:

  • Sec. 1: Identification;
  • Sec. 2: Hazard identification;
  • Sec. 3: Composition/information on ingredients;
  • Sec. 4: First aid measures;
  • Sec. 5: Fire-fighting measures;
  • Sec. 6: Accidental release measures;
  • Sec. 7: Handling and storage;
  • Sec. 8: Exposure control/personal protection;
  • Sec. 9: Physical and chemical properties;
  • Sec. 10: Stability and reactivity;
  • Sec. 11: Toxicological information;
  • Sec. 12*: Ecological information;
  • Sec. 13*: Disposal considerations;
  • Sec. 14*: Transport information;
  • Sec. 15*: Regulatory information; and
  • Sec. 16: Other information, including date of preparation or most recent revision.

* Non-mandatory items.

10. How Label and SDS Information Work Together

Hazcom Label: Not expressly required under current Hazcom rules

GHS Label: OSHA Guidance says GHS training should explain how the information listed on the label is related to the SDS, e.g., explain that precautionary statements on the label should be the same as on the SDS, and vice-versa.

Need Help Making the Transition from Hazcom to GHS?

 
 
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