Safety Documentation Goes Global

By Jeff White, Induron Sales Manager

Man, my head is spinning. Just as we all think we’ve figured out how to read an MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet), the game is about to change.

In 1983, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released its Hazard Communication (HazCom) regulation, which required an MSDS for every potentially hazardous material. It is now a generally accepted practice that MSDSs are reviewed and on-site as a part of every job. And we in the coatings industry and many other industries are better for it.

However, as the economy becomes truly “global,” there is a need for a universal approach for understanding the hazardous properties of the chemicals we use. Enter the Global Harmonized System (GHS). The GHS is a uniform system adopted by the United Nations several years ago. OSHA has adopted the GHS as the ”new HazCom” regulation for the United States.

The deadlines required for the GHS trainings are as follows:

  • End users’ employees must be trained by December 1, 2013.
  • Manufacturers, importers, distributors and their employees must be trained by June 1, 2015.
  • No products can ship after December 1, 2015, unless they comply with the new labeling regulations.

CoatingsPro magazine has a great write-up on the GHS in their July issue. You can download the GHS article or read the whole issue here.

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