On March 20, 2012, OSHA issued a new regulation changing the current Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) to conform to the Global Harmonized System of Classifying and Labeling Chemicals (GHS). GHS was developed by the United Nations to give workers worldwide the right to understand the dangers of the chemicals they work with.
What does this mean for you? Adopting GHS will largely affect the labels and safety data sheets (SDS) that are required for the hazardous materials we work with. Chemical safety in the workplace is a priority. Although we work with potentially hazardous materials on a regular basis, we can maintain a safe working environment if we use the chemicals as they were intended and follow necessary safety precautions. As your employer, we must ensure that SDSs are readily accessible to you. As we transition to GHS, we will train staff working with chemicals where to access safety information and how to safely handle hazardous materials used in the workplace.
Under GHS, material safety data sheets (MSDS) will be called safety data sheets, or SDS. SDSs provide workers with procedures for handling or working with a hazardous substance in a safe manner. This includes instructions for safe use and potential hazards associated with a particular material or product. An SDS should provide complete information about the chemical product that allows employers and workers to obtain relevant and accurate information.