OSHA revises Hazard Communications Standard (HCS)

OSHA revised its Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) to align with the United Nations’ Globally Harmonized System (GHS) of Classification and Labeling of Chemical, which was published in the Federal Register in March 2012. Two significant changes contained in the revised standard require the use of new labeling elements and a standardized format for Safety Data Sheets (SDSs), formerly known as, Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs). The GHS does not contain a classification for combustible dust hazards, and to maintain coverage of this hazard under HCS, OSHA amended the standard’s definition of “hazardous chemical” to include “combustible dust.” To help companies comply with the revised standard, OSHA is phasing in the specific requirements over several years (December 1, 2013 to June 1, 2016).

Following is a breakdown of the landmark dates for adoption:

· December 1, 2013 - By this date, employers were to have trained their workers on the new label elements and SDS

  format. This is currently enforceable by OSHA. 

· June 1, 2015 - Manufacturers are required to switch over to the new labels and safety data sheets. At that time, all

  dust issues should have been addressed by companies. 

· December 1, 2015 – products manufactured and warehoused under the old system can be distributed until this date.
· June 1, 2016 – Update alternative workplace labeling and hazard communication program as necessary, and provide

  additional employee training for newly identified physical or health hazards.


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The 2015 PennAg Spring Banquet & Annual Meeting will be held Wednesday, April 1 (Banquet) and Thursday, April 2 (Meeting) at the Lancaster County Convention Center. Themed, "Changing Food Trends: Do Consumers Drive the Agricultural Marketplace," the event is packed with dynamic speakers who will touch on a variety of topics of concern for those involved in production agriculture. Download a registration form for additional information or visit http://www.cvent.com/d/4rq7z7 to register online. (Sponsorship, advertising, and attendance opportunities available.)

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