The Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) is now aligned with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). Sounds great, right? But what does it all mean!? SGIA’s Marci Kinter has the “low-down.”
“Changes to OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard will impact our entire membership. Basically, chemical manufacturers need to implement a new labeling and hazard determination protocol, and imaging facilities need to change their training to incorporate information on the new labeling, MSDS criteria. SGIA intends to provide updates on this critical regulatory action, as well as training tools for the entire membership,” said Kinter.
The following provides a summary of the major changes:
- Hazard classification: Chemical manufacturers and importers are required to determine the hazards of the chemicals they produce or import. Hazard classification under the new, updated standard provides specific criteria to address health and physical hazards as well as classification of chemical 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: The new format requires 16 specific sections, ensuring consistency in presentation of important protection information.
- Information and training: To facilitate understanding of the new system, the standard requires that workers be trained by December 1, 2013 on the new label elements and safety data sheet format, in addition to the current training requirements.
Stay up to date on this issue with SGIA’s Printer Action Committee.