HazCom / HazMat

Hazard Communication / Hazardous Materials Conversion to OSHA GHS Program

On January 19, 2011, the US Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) released a historic update, harmonizing their HazCom/HazMat regulations with key international regulatory changes. GHS or Global Harmonization System has been an ongoing movement for over a decade, with the January 2011 updates representing the latest major wave of changes in store.

Compliance with the amended regulations is required beginning January 1, 2012.

The January 2011 changes will mandate extensive changes in many workplaces, some of the major proposed changes are as follows:

  • Hazard Classification: Provides specfic criteria for classification of health and physical hazards, as well as classification of mixtures.
  • Labels: Chemical manufacturers and importers will be required to provide a label that includes a harmonized signal word, pictogram, and hazard statement for each hazard class and category. Precautionary statements must also be included.
  • Safety Data Sheets: MSDS sheets will be replaced by Safety Data Sheets and will now have a specified 16- section format.
  • Information & Training: This will require that workers are trained within two years of the final rule to facilitate recognition and understanding of the new labels and safety data sheets.

According to recent OSHA statistics, over 5 million workplaces in various industries and 40 million workers will be affected by these revised regulations. OSHA estimates that this revised standard will prevent 43 fatalities and 585 injuries/illnesses annually.

Many industry and safety professionals need to prepare for the changes ahead, Proactive Safety Solutions is availible to assist companies with these mandated changes. We can assist your company in many areas, from full program converstion to employee training, please contact us today to discuss your safety needs.