Compliance Center

Hazcom to GHS

OSHA Publishes Final GHS Rule

On May 25, 2012, important GHS changes to the OSHA Hazcom standard took effect.  GHS, i.e., the UN Globally Harmonized System, is designed to coordinate workplace chemical safety regulations across the world. For an overview of all GHS changes and steps to comply, visit this post: GHS: 25 Steps to Compliance

The key thing you need to know RIGHT NOW: If like most employers, you get the hazardous chemicals you use from an outside supplier as opposed to manufacturing or importing them yourself, there are 3 things you need to do to comply with the new GHS rule:

    1.Ensure that all workers exposed to hazardous chemicals receive proper GHS safety information and training by Dec. 1, 2013;

    2.Ensure that from now until June 1, 2016, all hazardous chemicals used, handled or stored in your workplace have either a proper MSDS or SDS and that they have an SDS—and only an SDS—after June 1, 2016; and

    3.Ensure that from now until June 1, 2016, all containers of hazardous chemicals used, handled or stored in your workplace have either a proper Hazcom or GHS label that they have a GHS label—and only a GHS label—after June 1, 2016.

Below is a calendar of the important dates and actions employers should take to comply with the GHS transition.

DATE SIGNIFICANCE WHAT EMPLOYERS(1) MUST DO
May 25, 2012 Final GHS Rule officially takes effect (60 days from Mar. 26, 2012, Fed. Reg. publication date)
  • Get up to speed on GHS
  • Establish, communicate & secure approval of GHS compliance plan
Dec. 1, 2013 Employee training deadline
  • GHS labels training/re-training
  • SDS training/re-training
  • Ensure contractor/subcontractor workers are trained
June 1, 2015 Deadline for chemical manufacturers, importers & distributors to reclassify & prepare GHS-compliant SDSs
  • Ensure all hazardous chemicals have either MSDS or SDS
  • Ensure all new shipments include SDS
  • Ask suppliers to replace MSDS with SDS (or create your own)
Dec. 1, 2015 Deadline for chemical manufacturers, importers & distributors to meet GHS label requirements
  • Ensure all hazardous chemical containers have old Hazcom or new GHS label
  • Ensure new shipments have GHS labels
  • Ask suppliers to replace old labels with GHS labels (or create your own)
June 1, 2016 Deadline for updating your Hazcom program to comply with GHS
  • Make sure each hazardous chemical has proper GHS label
  • Make sure each hazardous chemical has proper SDS
  • Provide any additional training employees need to follow your updated Hazcom program
  • Revise related programs, including: Hazwoper, Chemical-specific, e.g., asbestos, Liquid flammables

Articles & Insight
Time Saving Tools
 
 
OHS Insider
This content requires a premium membership

Forgot Your Password?