Modification of the OSHA Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) to conform with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS)
AkzoNobel Automotive & Aerospace Coatings, as standard practice, encourages our distributors and any individual using our products to carefully and fully read all labelling information as well as that contained in the Materials Safety and Data Sheets (MSDS). In keeping with that practice please see the below announcements and documentation regarding the implementation of the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS)
The United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) revised the Hazard Communication Standard in March 2012. The purpose of the change was to align the United States with a resolution passed by the United Nations that encourages member countries to establish a globally harmonized system of classifying and labelling chemical products in order to provide consistent and easy to understand tools for communicating the hazards of chemical products. The UN resolution is known as GHS. The updated version of the OSHA standard which includes the features of GHS is referred to as HAZCOM12.
Under HAZCOM12, manufacturers have until June 2015 to update Safety Data Sheets (SDS) and labels, including universally recognized pictograms. Between now and then, OSHA will accept existing MSDS and labels or the new HAZCOM12 (GHS) compliant SDS and labels as meeting their requirements.
OSHA recognized that employees will begin to see the newly formatted product SDS and labels prior to the June 2015 implementation date. In order to ensure that employees are aware of the new hazard communication tools and what they mean, OSHA included a provision that employees must be trained to understand the new SDS format, labels and pictograms by December 1, 2013.
Note that during the transition period of converting our MSDS to the new OSHA compliant standard, customers may receive two styles of product compliance documents for different products. These will be the most current documents for each product. We would also like to point out those changes in MSDS and labels as a result of the new regulation are not related to any changes in the actual product formulations unless you are notified to the contrary by AkzoNobel.
The following link provides an overview of GHS HAZCOM12 in an easy to read question and answer format:
In addition, OSHA provided other educational tools such as Information Sheets and Quick Cards on specific topics. Links to those tools are provided below.
OSHA Brief Summary of HAZCOM12:
OSHA Brief on Pictograms and Labels:
OSHA Brief on Safety Data Sheets:
OSHA Quick Cards:
The HAZCOM12 is an update of the Hazard Communication Standard that has been an OSHA requirement since 1983. There are additional changes in definitions, classifications of chemicals, and statements regarding specific OSHA hazards. Employers are expected to review and update their Hazard Communication programs to incorporate these changes as needed by June 2016.