Hazard communication Safety Data Sheets GHS/Hazcom

OSHA instructs inspectors on enforcing hazcom standard

Label on bottle in shop

Washington – OSHA compliance officers have a new instruction document that outlines inspection procedures for the agency’s updated Hazard Communication Standard.

The document details the revisions made to the standard, including standardized labeling for hazardous chemicals, and outlines the required format and content for Safety Data Sheets. The instruction also explains how inspectors should enforce the standard during the transition period leading up to June 1, 2016 – the deadline for full implementation of the rule.

Upcoming compliance deadlines for the new standard include:

  • Dec. 1: Distributors must comply with labeling provisions.
  • June 1, 2016: Employers must update alternative workplace labeling and hazcom programs and provide additional employee training for newly identified hazards.

During the transition period before the effective dates, employers may comply with either the updated standard or the old rule. Employers found not to be in compliance with either standard could be cited.

To date, employers should have already trained employees on the new standard and be complying with the revised SDS requirements, and manufacturers and importers should be complying with new labeling provisions.