(Editors’ notes – these changes impact pesticide applicators in several ways:
- SDS sheets should replace the MSDS sheets used in the past. You will want to update your MSDS sheets with these new 16-section format Safety Data Sheets. These sheets need to be available to employees so they can understand the risks associated with using these chemicals at work.
- Employee training on the new system is required by Dec 1, 2013. The following article includes an online video to help with this requirement. Additional employee training may also be needed.
Pesticides will remain under US EPA regulation. EPA is not requiring pesticide labels to make any changes. The OSHA regulated SDS and the signal word will not match the EPA pesticide label. This OSHA training focuses on chemical label elements that are NON-pesticide.)
“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.” 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.
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:
Major changes to the Hazard Communication Standard
Employee training – This video explains the new GHS labeling system adopted by OSHA when they revised their hazard communication standard in 2012. Employers must provide training on this particular topic to their workers by no later than December 1, 2013. This video is free for employers to use for worker training, compliments of OSHA Training Services Inc.