GHS and Safety Data Sheet Compliance Update

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December 1, 2015 Deadline Affects Chemical Manufacturers, Importers, Distributors, and Employers

The new global GHS hazard communication standard requires chemical manufacturers, importers and distributors to provide hazard information to employers and workers by putting a standardized set of labels on containers and preparing universally uniform safety data sheets. The GHS requirement provides a single set of pictograms, codes and labels for classifying chemicals according to their health and physical hazards and specifies hazard communication elements for labeling and safety data sheets.

The December 1st deadline is right around the corner and it requires that chemical manufacturers, importers, distributors and employers label products under the new GHS system. Employers have until June 1, 2016, an additional six months, to update their alternative workplace labeling and hazard communication program as needed. Employers are also required to offer employees training for the new GHS and Safety Data Sheet (SDS) formats as well as the new way of identifying physical or health hazards.

The key for employers is to update their SDS and safety data and link their chemicals to GHS codes and standards. Proactive companies will likely view the deadline as an opportune time to review and update onsite chemical inventories and improve workplace safety through refresher training. It’s also an ideal time to take a detailed look at Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) software for chemical management.

SFS Chemical Safety has fully implemented the new GHS and Safety Data Sheet (SDS) standard within its EMS Environmental Health and Safety software. In addition to its core chemical inventory tracking and hazardous waste management modules, EMS includes EH&S mobile apps, GHS labeling software, and Safety Data Sheet software. With a chemical reference database containing more than 90,000 substances (including thousands of GHS codes) plus an SDS database with tens of thousands of Safety Data Sheets, labs, research institutions, universities, and manufacturers can easily comply with the new international and OSHA safety standard. Best yet, our enterprise-level software is available on a subscription basis for a low monthly fee. Please visit our EMS subscription plan page for subscription and pricing options. You may also want to read our blog article on the cost-benefits of the EMS Software-as-a-Service (SaaS).

Thank you and I welcome your comments.

Tony Diamantidis

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