From CCH – Safety/OSHA:
Why modify the HCS: OSHA’s proposal to adopt the GHS will not change the framework and scope of the current HCS but will help ensure improved quality and more consistency in the classification and labeling of all chemicals…The harmonized format of the safety data sheets will enable workers to access the information more efficiently. In addition, currently multiple labels and safety data sheets must often be developed for the same product when shipped to different countries. This creates a major compliance burden for chemical manufacturers and those involved in international trade, increasing the cost of providing hazard information. The adoption of GHS will minimize this burden.
Major proposed changes to the HCS:
* Hazard classification: Provides specific 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 provided.
* Safety Data Sheets: Will now have a specified 16-section format.
* Information and training: The GHS does not address training. However, the proposed HCS will require that workers are trained within two years of the publication of the final rule to facilitate recognition and understanding of the new labels and safety data sheets.
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