OSHA has revised the Hazard Communication Standard (29 CFR 1910.1200) to align with the Globally Harmonized System (GHS) for the Classification and Labeling of Chemicals. There are several important revisions that impact printing operations, and they are as follows:
- Material Safety Data Sheets are now referred to as Safety Data Sheets. This is not only a name change but will also standardize these documents as manufacturers and importers will now have to follow a uniform 16-section format to communicate the hazards associated with their products.
- Labels for chemical containers will change. In addition to product identifiers and supplier information, they will now require a harmonized signal word, pictogram, and hazard statements. Precautionary statements are also required to describe recommended measures to protect against hazardous exposures.
- Combustible dust has been added to the definition of hazardous chemicals. This means that combustible dust hazards now must be addressed on labels, SDSs, and employee training. The new standard outlines the label elements required for combustible dust, including the signal word “warning” and the hazard statement, “May form combustible dust concentrations in the air.”
The deadline for initially training all employees on the revisions was December 1, 2013. For more information, check out these resources: