Labels and safety data sheets (SDSs) for hazardous chemicals are getting a makeover, and practices should have trained their staff to understand them by Dec. 1, 2013.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has revised its Hazard Communication standard, aligning it with the United Nations' global chemical labeling system. Labels and SDSs will use pictograms and other elements in a new, standard format. Companies have until 2016 to roll out their new labels and SDSs, but you may have started seeing some as early as Dec. 1 — thus the Dec. 1 training deadline.
OSHA has published a training requirements fact sheet that explains what you need to teach your staff, as well as these training aids:
Remember, OSHA requires all employers with hazardous chemicals in their workplace to have labels and readily accessible SDSs for their exposed workers, and to train them to handle the chemicals appropriately.
Revised Nov. 22, 2013
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