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Hazards Communication Standard 2013

December 1, 2013 Training Requirements

for the Revised Hazard Communication Standard

New Regulations put into play by OSHA will require business owners to train their employees about new labels and safety data sheet effective 12/1/13. 

OSHA has recently revised its Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) to align with the United Nation’s Globally Harmonized System (GHS).  The GHS was developed with an international panel of scientific experts and industry stakeholders, to synchronize the definitions of chemical hazards.  The panel addresses the diverse regulations of chemical management between countries and across all business sectors, which will reduce cost for manufacturers and distributors and increase utility for employers, employees and health professionals.

With OSHA adopting the GHS, there will be 3 major areas of change:

1.      Hazard Classification:  The definitions of hazard have been changed to provide harmonized criteria for classification of health, physical and environmental.

2.      Labels:  Chemical manufacturers will have to provide a label that includes a precautionary statement, hazard pictogram, harmonized signal word and a hazard statement.

3.      Safety Data Sheets:  The safety data sheet will now have a specified 16-section format that must be outlined for each hazardous product.

So what does this mean for employers?  Due to the modification in HCS, all employers, regardless of size, will have to train their employees about the new labels and safety data sheets format.  The program requires that employees not only know, but understand what types of hazardous substances they are exposed to, as well as be formally trained about the exposures.  That training must be completed by December 1, 2013.  To help companies comply with the revised standard, OSHA is phasing in the specific requirements over a span of several years as referenced below:

Requirement Completion Date Responsible Party
Employees must be trained on new label elements and SDSs. December 1, 2013 Employers
All provisions of the hazard communication final rule must be compiled with, except as stated below:Containers must have GHS compliant label before shipping. June 1, 2015December 1, 2015




Workplace labeling and hazard communication program updated.  Additional training for employees on newly identified physical or health hazards completed. June 1, 2016 Employers


For more information about the Hazard Communication Standard, please call 800-899-6624, or email we’re happy to answer any questions.