GHS Workplace Labels
OSHA adopted new hazardous chemical labeling requirements in a revised standard “HazCom 2012” that aligned with the United Nations’ Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals or GHS. Basically, visual notations to alert all users must be on all labels for hazardous chemicals with instructions on how to handle, use, store and transport the chemicals.
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The label must include the following six elements:
- *Name, Address and Phone Number of the Chemical Manufacturer or Supplier
- *Signal Word – Either Danger or Warning based on the chemical severity
- *Pictograms – There are nine, eight of which are mandatory and can be seen in the picture above
- *Hazard Statement – There are standardized sentences that accompany chemicals
- *Precautionary Statement – How employees are to protect themselves
- *Product Identifier – This must match what is on the SDS (see below)
There were three main dates that were issued when OSHA put the change into action. June 1st of 2015 is for chemical producers. The two dates that pertain to employers were December 1, 2013 and June 1, 2016.
Transported chemicals must also be accompanied by an SDS or Safety Data Sheet. The SDS is a detailed source for everything and anything pertaining to “what’s in the box”*.
Effective in June of 2016, all employers are required to use alternate workplace labeling and hazard communication programs at their facilities. This means that any time a chemical is transferred from one container to another, that secondary container must be labeled as well. These are commonly referred to as “workplace labels”.