Are You Prepared for the New OSHA Safety Regulations?
Safety in the workplace is a MUST, especially when working with chemicals and supplies that can be hazardous or downright dangerous. Most cleaning products are labeled with warnings to let the user know if there are any dangers possible when using the product. The problems occur when labels are inconsistent. Warnings buried in the small print. Different icons on similar products that could all represent the same warning. It can all become a guessing game, which becomes very dangerous when working with toxic chemicals or explosive supplies.
OSHA aims to reduce this confusion by revising its Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) to match the international standardized system. There will be clear definitions of health and physical hazards, a standardized labeling system with pictograms and hazard statements, and consistently formatted Safety Data Sheets (SDS). The phase-in period for everyone involved to adopt these new regulations has already begun and includes specific dates for each phase’s completion.
Phase-in period for the revised HCS:
As of 12/01/13:It is the employer's responsibility to have all employees trained on the new label elements and the new safety data sheet (SDS) format.
By 12/01/15:All distributors need to be in compliance with all modified provisions of this final rule, including the Distributor shall not ship containers labeled by the chemical manufacturer or importer unless it is a new GHS label that is up to the new standards. (Essentially we/all distributors just need to make sure that all stock has been rotated all old labels have been shipped out, or returned to the manufacturer.)
- By 06/01/16: All employers have to have updated all alternative workplace labeling and hazard communication program as necessary, and provide additional employee training for newly identified physical or health hazards.
To learn more about OSHA’s new safety regulations, see the OSHA Fact Sheet for training requirements and get answers to all your questions at OSHA’s Modification of Hazard Communication Standard FAQs. Also, visit the CleanFreak Safety Data Sheets page for a list of the chemicals we sell and links to each product’s SDS.
Cleaning safety is something I take very seriously. A clear label on the chemicals and products we sell will make it easier for me to highlight warnings and precautions for our customers. This will help protect everyone’s health and safety. For more cleaning and janitorial tips, please visit our Resource Center.
Source for phase-in period: https://www.osha.gov/dsg/hazcom/hazcom-faq.html#3