OSHA HazCom Updates: What You Need to Do and When
The deadline for revising chemical container labels is December 1, 2015. The completely revised product label requirements mandate that specific information must be included on each label. These new requirements state that labels will now require all of the following:
- Product identifier
- Signal word
- Hazard statement(s)
- Precautionary statement(s)
- Supplier information
For more information on the pictograms, see theSafety Poster – Pictograms Quick Reference.
In-plant container labels also require special attention. The revised standards acknowledge the same secondary container rule: If an employee transfers a material from a labeled container to a secondary container, which is intended only for immediate use by that employee, and that employee understands the hazards associated with the material, then that container does not have to be labeled unless it is either stored for future use or passed to another employee.
One major change to the in-plant labeling system is to the Hazard Materials Identification System (HMIS). The HMIS numeric coding states that hazard categories (health or physical) are based on the degree of severity with a numeric rating from zero to four, with four representing the greatest severity. However, with the new rule aligned with GHS, the opposite numbering order is true with respect to hazard determination. Under the new rule, a Category 1 of any hazard is the highest level of severity. Because of this difference in rating and the potential for confusion in recognizing hazard severity, the HMIS system is not recommended for in-plant alternative labeling until such time as the HMIS system is revised to align with the GHS.
Safety Data Sheets, the newly aligned MSDS, provides 16 sections addressing issues involving product and hazard identification, ingredients, and toxicological information, first aid and fire-fighting measures, handling and storage, and more. Check out theSafety Poster—Get to Know the Safety Data Sheet for a full list.