Updated OSHA Hazard Communication Standard (HAZCOM)
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is adapting their Hazard Communication Standard in order to comply with international criteria for chemical container labeling and material safety data sheets (MSDS). HAZCOM already requires that employers inform their employees of hazardous chemicals in the work place, so these changes only affect how to go about informing employees about these hazardous chemicals.
The updates are as follows:
- The “Material Safety Data Sheet” designation will be changed to “Safety Data Sheet” (SDS);
- The format will contain 16 numbered sections containing chemical information including first aid measures;
- Chemical container labels will include international pictograms and a new format.
Labels must be formatted in accordance to new guidelines by December, 1, 2015. However, employees must be trained about these new labels and their formats by December 1, 2013.
- Employees at c-stores, lube oil warehouses, bottled propane facilities, automobile quick lubes, car wash operations, and vehicle repair and maintenance shops will likely require training, while administrative employees that work in an office setting will not be required to be trained.
- CDL drivers are only subject to HAZCOM compliance during loading and unloading operations at the work site. Once drivers leave the site, US DOT regulations apply only. Drivers should check with their HAZMAT training provider to see if their training required by US DOT regulations satisfies OSHA requirements, in which case the driver does not need to be trained.
- Lack of training may lead to OSHA penalties.
Contact our Safety Manager Tim Kostel or our Training Director Andy Tait with any questions you may have. Employers should check with their state OSHA programs for additional requirements as some states have more stringent criteria. State OSHA offices can be contacted here. For more information, visit the federal OSHA site. Also, feel free to take the time to look into TAIT’s safety training programs as well. We look forward to working with you.