What is the new Globally Harmonized System (GHS) that’s changing OSHA’s Hazcom Standard?

Recently, the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) revised the Hazard Communication Standards (Hazcom) to conform with The Globally Harmonized System which is put forth by the United Nations (UN). What is the Globally Harmonized System? The GHS is an international policy approach to hazard communication, providing agreed upon criteria for classification of chemical hazards. It’s a standardized approach to chemical label elements and safety data sheets. The GHS came about through a careful multi-national, multi-year process with hazard communication experts from all over the world. It is partially based in existing hazard communications policies, such as OSHA's Hazard Communication Standard and other hazardous chemical standards in the United States.

In light of these standards, OSHA has decided to modify the Hazcom Standard to conform to the GHS in order to better provide safety to employees that handle hazardous materials. First put together in 1983, the Hazard Communication Standard put forth by OSHA was performance-oriented, allowing chemical manufacturers and importers to convey information on labels and material safety data sheets in whatever format they choose. While this has been moderately successful, a more standardized approach to classifying the hazards and conveying the information will be more effective and will provide further improvements in American workplaces.

The UN's GHS doesn't only affect American workplaces, but is being adopted all over the world. Having a universal standard will make it easier when importing and exporting hazardous materials. This will also lead to less confusion because of different labeling and standards being not easily understood. The HCS and hazard communication standards from other countries conforming to this standard will improve communication globally and make trade easier.

The deadline to become compliant with the new Hazard Communication Standard GHS changes is December 1, 2013.  Ensure your compliance by getting certified today using Clyylm Training!

Clym’s online Hazard Communication Training can be taken from any computer with internet access. The training takes about 45 minutes and you don’t have to finish it in one sitting, either. You can save your place and come back to the training when it’s convenient for you. This outstanding value is so convenient and easy and will leave you with the certificate you need to prove your compliance with this new OSHA requirement.   And its only $10!  That ten dollars per person will afford you the peace of mind that you and your employees are compliant with the new revision to the Hazard Communication Standard.

Clym Environmental Services, LLC provides a comprehensive menu of environmental, health and safety services to the life sciences industry. Our experienced professionals are service driven and focused on designing customized solutions to meet client needs.  Clym offers a global services approach resulting in the need for just one service provider – that means better service, better value and liability control.  If your organization uses hazardous chemicals, radioactive materials or biological agents in the life sciences or healthcare industries, we have a cost effective solution for you. We are eager to earn your trust and your business – contact one of Clym’s environmental health and safety professionals today!

Source: Hazard Communication FAQOSHA.gov

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