GHS – Hazcom ASSE

Chemical Safety on the Job
Why HAZCOM ???
March 20, 2012
US Department of Labor's OSHA revises Hazard Communication Standard
Regulation protects workers from dangerous chemicals,
helps American businesses compete worldwide
To better protect workers from hazardous chemicals, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety
and Health Administration has revised its Hazard Communication Standard, aligning it with the United
Nations' global chemical labeling system. The new standard, once implemented, will prevent an estimated
43 deaths and result in an estimated $475.2 million in enhanced productivity for U.S. businesses each year.
"Exposure to hazardous chemicals is one of the most serious dangers facing American workers today," said
Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. "Revising OSHA's Hazard Communication Standard will improve the
quality, consistency and clarity of hazard information that workers receive, making it safer for workers to
do their jobs and easier for employers to stay competitive in the global marketplace."
The Hazard Communication Standard, being revised to align with the United Nations' Globally
Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals, will be fully implemented in 2016 and
benefit workers by reducing confusion about chemical hazards in the workplace, facilitating safety
training and improving understanding of hazards, especially for low literacy workers. OSHA's standard
will classify chemicals according to their health and physical hazards, and establish consistent labels and
safety data sheets for all chemicals made in the United States and imported from abroad.
The revised standard also is expected to prevent an estimated 585 injuries and illnesses annually. It will
reduce trade barriers and result in estimated annualized benefits in productivity improvements for
American businesses that regularly handle, store and use hazardous chemicals, as well as cost savings of
$32.2 million for American businesses that periodically update safety data sheets and labels for chemicals
covered under the standard.
"OSHA's 1983 Hazard Communication Standard gave workers the right to know. As one participant
expressed during our rulemaking process, this update will give them the right to understand, as well," said
Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels.
During the transition period to the effective completion dates noted in the standard, chemical
manufacturers, importers, distributors and employers may comply with either 29 Code of Federal
Regulations 1910.1200 (the final standard), the current standard or both.
The final rule revising the standard is available at*.
Further information for workers, employers and downstream users of hazardous chemicals can be
reviewed at OSHA's Hazard Communication Safety and Health topics at, which includes links to OSHA's revised Hazard
Communication Standard and guidance materials such as Q and A's, OSHA fact sheet and Quick Cards.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and
healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working
men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For
more information, visit
The standard that gave workers the right to know, now gives them
the right to understand. Safety & Health Topics Page: Hazard Communication
Safety Data Sheets
Effective Dates
HCS / GHS Final Rule
Federal Register: The Final Rule was filed on March 20th at
the Office of the Federal Register and available for viewing on
their Public Electronic Inspection Desk. The Federal Register
published the final rule on March 26, 2012. The effective date
of the final rule is 60 days after the date of publication.
 Federal Register [PDF, 52 MB]
Comparison of Existing and Revised HCS
Redline Strikeout of the Regulatory Text
Press Release: US Department of Labor's OSHA publishes final rule to
update the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS)
OSHA Briefs [PDF 263 KB]
Fact Sheet
Quick Cards
"Exposure to hazardous chemicals is one of the most serious threats facing American workers
today," said U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis. "Revising OSHA's Hazard Communication
standard will improve the quality and consistency of hazard information, making it safer for
workers to do their jobs and easier for employers to stay competitive."
The Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) is now aligned with the Globally Harmonized
System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). This update to the Hazard
Communication Standard (HCS) will provide a common and coherent approach to classifying
chemicals and communicating hazard information on labels and safety data sheets. Once
implemented, the revised standard will improve the quality and consistency of hazard
information in the workplace, making it safer for workers by providing easily understandable
information on appropriate handling and safe use of hazardous chemicals. This update will
also help reduce trade barriers and result in productivity improvements for American
businesses that regularly handle, store, and use hazardous chemicals while providing cost
savings for American businesses that periodically update safety data sheets and labels for
chemicals covered under the hazard communication standard.
Dr. David Michaels discusses the
publication of the Final Rule for
Hazard Communication
[Video | Statement]
Hazard Communication Standard
In order to ensure chemical safety in the workplace, information about the
identities and hazards of the chemicals must be available and understandable to workers. OSHA's Hazard
Communication Standard (HCS) requires the development and dissemination of such information:
Chemical manufacturers and importers are required to evaluate the hazards of the chemicals they produce or import, and
prepare labels and safety data sheets to convey the hazard information to their downstream customers;
All employers with hazardous chemicals in their workplaces must have labels and safety data sheets for their exposed workers,
and train them to handle the chemicals appropriately.
Major changes to the Hazard Communication Standard
Hazard classification: Provides specific criteria for classification of health and physical hazards, as well as classification of
Labels: Chemical manufacturers and importers will be required to provide a label that includes a harmonized signal word,
pictogram, and hazard statement for each hazard class and category. Precautionary statements must also be provided.
Safety Data Sheets: Will now have a specified 16-section format.
Information and training: Employers are required to train workers by December 1, 2013 on the new labels elements and
safety data sheets format to facilitate recognition and understanding.
Global Harmonization
• Adopted 4-26-2012
• New MSDS (New name SDS Safety Data
1. Standardized format and information
2. 16 Sections
3. Pictograph use and ease of interpretation
so it can be used worldwide.
• New labels (2), using pictographs, signal
words and hazard statement.
Primarily affects companies that make MSDS.
Global Benefits of
– Countries, international organizations,
chemical producers and users of
chemicals all benefit.
• Enhance protection of humans and
• Facilitate international trade in
• Reduce need for testing and
• Assist countries and international
organizations to ensure the sound
management of chemicals.
Effective Dates
Effective Completion Date
December 1, 2013
Train employees on the new
label elements and safety data
sheet (SDS) format.
June 1, 2015*
December 1, 2015
June 1, 2016
Transition Period to the
effective completion dates
noted above
Compliance with all modified Chemical manufacturers, importers,
provisions of this final rule,
distributors and employers
The Distributor shall not ship
containers labeled by the
chemical manufacturer or
importer unless it is a GHS label
Update alternative workplace
labeling and hazard
communication program as
necessary, and provide
additional employee training for
newly identified physical or
health hazards.
May comply with either 29 CFR Chemical manufacturers, importers,
1910.1200 (the final standard),
distributors, and employers
or the current standard, or both
Chemical Classification
• Test method neutral
• Tiered approach for MIXTURE
– Classify based on data for actual
– If data unavail use bridging to estimate
based on ingredient information
GHS classifies based on both
Physical and Health Hazards…
Environmental Hazards are also
classified and labeled.
Hazards of Chemicals…
• There are 2 basic types of
chemical hazards
– Physical Hazards
– Health Hazards
As well as Environmental
• The first rule of Chemical safety is…
• "Know what you are working
• with and how to protect yourself
• and others“
Chemicals can enter the body
• your lungs if you
breath fumes, mists
or dust
• your skin if liquid or
dust touches or spills
on you or splashes in
your eyes
• your mouth if you
eat after handling
• accidental
swallowing of a
HCS Physical Hazards…
• Chemicals are classified as having
Physical Hazards if they are
 Explosive
 Compressed Gas
 Combustible Liquids
 Flammable
 Unstable
 Water Reactive
 Oxidizers
GHS Physical Hazards
• Explosives
• Flammable
• Gasses under
• Self reactive
• Pyrophoric liquids
• Self heating
• Organic peroxides
• Substances which
on water contact
give flammable
• Oxidizing solids
Flammable gasses
Oxidizing gases
Flammable liquids
Flammable solids
Pyrophoric solids
Oxidizing liquids
Corrosive to metals
Chemicals with Physical
• Used only by trained
• Stored in a safe manner
• Never mixed with other
chemicals unless by an
approved procedure
HCS Health Hazards
• Chemicals are classified as being a
health hazard if they:
Can cause cancer
Are poisonous (toxic)
Cause harm to your skin, internal
organs, or nervous system
Are corrosive - such as acids
Cause allergic reactions after
repeated exposure
Health Effects…
• Some chemicals
affect specific
organs such as
your kidneys,
reproductive or
nervous system.
GHS Health Hazards
• Acute toxicity (LD50’s
and LC 50’s)
• Skin corrosion/
• Serious eye damage/
eye irritation
• Respiratory and skin
• Germ cell
• Reproductive toxicity
• Carcinogenicity
• Specific target organ
toxicity (STOT) single
• Specific target organ
toxicity (STOT)
repeated exposure
• Aspiration hazard
Current Flammable/ Combustible
Labeling Comparison
• Must contain:
- identity of hazardous
- name/ address of
responsible party,
- appropriate hazard
• • Exposure calculations not
permitted in determining
whether a hazard must
appear on a label.
• If there is potential for
exposure, (other than in
minute, trace or very small
quantities), the hazard
must be included when
• Must contain:
- product identifier,
- name, address, telephone of
responsible party
- chemical identity
- hazard pictograms, signal
words, hazard statement, and
precautionary information
(precautionary information is
not standardized yet).
• For labels,
Hazard symbols, signal words,
and hazard statements
standardized assigned to each
hazard category These
standardized elements should
not be subject to variation,
and should appear on the GHS
Labeling Comparison
Label Verbiage
- No requirements for
specific text if appropriate
hazard warnings included.
• • permits graphics:
pictures, symbols, or
combination thereof on
a label or other
appropriate form which
convey the specific
physical or health
hazard(s), including
target organ effects, of
the chemical(s) in the
• Hazards are considered
for exposures under
normal conditions of use
or in foreseeable
• Label Verbiage
• • Each hazard has a
category, or set of
categories, with
pictograms, signal
words, hazard and
• • Displays all the
hazard statements
associated with the
• • “May be harmful if
inhaled” is an example
of a hazard warning.
Provides guidance on
using precautionary
Labeling Comparison
• Signal Words
American National Standards
Institute's (ANSI) Standard
Z129.1 provides much useful
information for employers
regarding product labels and is
generally very helpful in
complying with the HCS. ANSI
recommends Caution,
Warning, and Danger, in
order of increasing severity.
• Chronic Health Effects
Well substantiated chronic
health hazards - for example,
carcinogenicity, reproductive
toxicity, or developmental
toxicity – as well as target
organ effects must be stated
on the label.
• Guidance
ANSI Z129.1 standard,
adherence is not required by
• Signal Words
• GHS uses Warning and
Danger only.
• Comprehensibility
• The aim of harmonized
system is to present
information in a manner
audience can easily
• Chronic Health Effects
• GHS has classification
criteria for chronic health
endpoints and standard
statements for those
hazard categories. "May
cause damage to the liver
through prolonged or
repeated exposure by
inhalation” is an example
of a standard chronic
health effect statement.
• Guidance
• GHS is labeling
requirement for those
countries/regions which
adopt the GHS.
Labeling Comparison
In House Labels
Alternative labeling systems such as
the National Fire Protection
Association (NFPA) 704 Hazard Rating
and the Hazardous Material
Information System (HMIS) are
permitted for workplace containers.
However, the information supplied on
these labels must be consistent with
the revised HCS, e.g., no conflicting
hazard warnings or pictograms.
Uniform Labels…
• Pictures may be
used to identify
hazards and
required protection
• This Information
may also be on the

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