OSHA has updated its hazard communication standard to harmonize it with international standards. Companies that manufacture, transport or have chemicals in the workplace must begin complying with the new standard by June 26. The standard will be phased in over the next four years.
The new standard’s key provisions involve communication about carcinogens in the workplace and combustible dust, plus new requirements for hazard labels and Material Data Safety Sheets.
Employee training will be the most pressing issue for most employers. The regulations require employees to be trained on the new labels and safety data sheet format by Dec. 1, 2013. Training on the carcinogen and dusts standards must be in place by June 1, 2016.
OSHA says the new standards will prevent an estimated 43 workplace deaths a year nationally.
For a Q&A on the new regulation visit www.osha.gov/dsg/hazcom/index.html.