By June 1, 2015, chemical manufacturers must use Globally Harmonized System criteria to classify the health and physical hazards of the chemicals they produce. Labeling and safety data sheets must also meet the new GHS format. Materials that previously were not considered hazardous won’t automatically escape classification in the revised standard. Chemical manufacturers, importers, distributors and employers must comply with all modified provisions of the final rule by June 1, 2015. Distributors may ship products labeled by manufacturers under the old system until Dec. 1, 2015.
Under HazCom 1994, labels were performance-based; chemical manufacturers and distributors decided what to put on them. OSHA then determined if the labels were compliant based on how they performed in the workplace. Under HazCom 2012, OSHA prescribes label information based on six standardized elements:
1. Product identifier: Same identifier found on safety data sheet
2. Supplier information: Name, address and phone number of responsible party
3. Pictogram(s): Black hazard symbol on white background with red diamond border
4. Signal word: Must use either “Danger” or “Warning,” depending upon hazards
5. Hazard statement(s): Declarative statement regarding nature or degree of hazard
6. Precautionary statement(s): Descriptions of appropriate prevention, storage, response and spill measures
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