Tag Archives: Chemical

Updates to Hazard Communication

gI_93564_sds-ghsAccording to the United States Department of Labor, there have been a few changes to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) Hazard Communication Standard (HCS).

“The Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) requires chemical manufacturers, distributors, or importers to provide Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) (formerly known as Material Safety Data Sheets or MSDSs) to communicate the hazards of hazardous chemical products. As of June 1, 2015, the HCS will require new SDSs to be in a uniform format, and include the section numbers, the headings, and associated information under the headings below:

Section 1, Identification includes product identifier; manufacturer or distributor name, address, phone number; emergency phone number; recommended use; restrictions on use.

Section 2, Hazard(s) identification includes all hazards regarding the chemical; required label elements.

Section 3, Composition/information on ingredients includes information on chemical ingredients; trade secret claims.

Section 4, First-aid measures includes important symptoms/ effects, acute, delayed; required treatment.

Section 5, Fire-fighting measures lists suitable extinguishing techniques, equipment; chemical hazards from fire.

Section 6, Accidental release measures lists emergency procedures; protective equipment; proper methods of containment and cleanup.

Section 7, Handling and storage lists precautions for safe handling and storage, including incompatibilities.

Section 8, Exposure controls/personal protection lists OSHA’s Permissible Exposure Limits (PELs); Threshold Limit Values (TLVs); appropriate engineering controls; personal protective equipment (PPE).

Section 9, Physical and chemical properties lists the chemical’s characteristics.

Section 10, Stability and reactivity lists chemical stability and possibility of hazardous reactions.

Section 11, Toxicological information includes routes of exposure; related symptoms, acute and chronic effects; numerical measures of toxicity.

Section 12, Ecological information*

Section 13, Disposal considerations*

Section 14, Transport information*

Section 15, Regulatory information*

Section 16, Other information, includes the date of preparation or last revision.

*Note: Since other Agencies regulate this information, OSHA will not be enforcing Sections 12 through 15(29 CFR 1910.1200(g)(2)).

Employers must ensure that SDSs are readily accessible to employees.
See Appendix D of 1910.1200 for a detailed description of SDS contents.”

For more information: www.osha.gov.

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Getting on the Same Page: Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS)

Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) are quite familiar to anyone working with hazardous chemicals in such environments as: labs, distribution warehouses, food operations, etc. The sheets describe “the physical and chemical properties, physical and health hazards, routes of exposure, precautions for safe handling and use, emergency and first-aid procedures, and control measures.” OSHA cites that these documents, along with labels and training in the workplace, are key elements in maintaining proper handling of hazardous materials in the workplace. It is also essential that employees are familiar with MSDS documents and know where to find them in your operation.

In essence, the documents are meant to clarify and simplify the pertinent information for each hazardous chemical for employees. As an active inventory of all hazardous chemicals going in and out of an operation, MSDS assist in assuring both the safety of the workers and the security of any operation. When properly implemented, controls like MSDS are a part of creating necessary transparency for your employees and inspectors; an improperly implemented MSDS program can actually create headaches and liabilities down the road. Due to this, the more one is able to read, understand, and properly implement the standards set forth in state and federal law, the better. For updated information and language on OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard, 29 CFR 1910.1200 click here.

GHS stands for the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals. It is a global approach to identifying hazardous chemicals and communicating those hazards to workers via labels and material safety data sheets (MSDS). OSHA revised the current HCS to align with GHS principles and create new compliance obligations for everyone in the life cycle of hazardous materials. For example, if OSHA adopts its proposed changes, then chemical manufacturers will need to author new MSDSs and employers will need to update their entire MSDS library in a short time frame.

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