Safety Update



OSHA Revises Hazard-Communication Standard

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has revised its Hazard Communication Standard, aligning it with the United Nations’ Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals. The standard, which will be fully implemented in 2016, classifies chemicals according to their health and physical hazards, and establishes consistent labels and safety data sheets for all chemicals made in the United States and imported from abroad.

Chemical manufacturers and importers will be required to provide new labels that include a harmonized signal word, pictogram and hazard statement based on the hazard classification. Precautionary statements also must be provided. Safety data sheets (SDS) will have a specified 16-section format.

The modified standard requires that workers receive information and training by December 1, 2013, to facilitate recognition and understanding of the new labels and safety data sheets. Visit OSHA’s Hazard Communication page at to obtain the final standard, access guidance documents, review frequently asked questions and more.

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.


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