Online and Mobile Solutions for GHS Labeling and SDS Compliance
The upcoming OSHA and global deadline for GHS labeling compliance has created unprecedented demand for solutions that can help employers comply with the new storage location and chemical container labeling requirements.
According to the OSHA compliance calendar, June 1, 2006 is the deadline for employers to “Update alternative workplace labeling and hazard communication program as necessary, and provide additional employee training for newly identified physical or health hazards.” What does this mean, and what must you, the employer, do to comply?
Manufacturers and suppliers of chemicals have been enhancing their Safety Data Sheets to comply with GHS, and include the four key components required for GHS Labeling, in addition to the product name and supplier information:
- The chemical’s signal word, “Danger” or “Warning” to be clearly visible on the label
- One or more of the nine images, or pictograms, that visually identify and alert users of the chemical hazards to which they may be exposed. Each pictogram consists of a symbol on a white background framed within a red border and represents a distinct hazard(s). The pictogram on the label is determined by the chemical hazard classification. Pictograms are detailed later in this blog.
- The “H” or Hazard codes associated with this chemical
- The “P” or precautionary statements associated with this chemical
Below is a sample GHS label from OSHA:
As an employer, you have the responsibility of updating your chemicals and chemical storage locations with GHS compliant labels, obtaining Safety Data Sheets and making them readily available to your employees, and training them to read and understand the new label formats and SDS sections.
With Chemical Safety’s EMS Software, this is an easy, cost-effective and automated process where your employees have the ability to access and manage and print GHS compliant labels and Safety Data Sheets in a variety of label sizes and formats. You can also store and easily retrieve Safety Data Sheets by either pointing to the manufacturer website where they are stored, or downloading them to your own electronic folder or binder. With built-in storage, retrieval, backup and printing options, EMS is a comprehensive and complete solution to all GHS related requirements.
Everyone in your organization can access GHS and SDS information online or on their smartphone or tablet (Apple iOS or Android) by downloading the apps free of charge on the Apple Store and Google Play.
Electronic storage and access to SDS information is allowed under OSHA so long as SDSs are readily accessible and employees have been given guidance on how to get them. Adequate backup is also required and employees and emergency responders must have easy and immediate access to hard copy SDSs.
Speaking of compliance, OSHA has issued very specific guidelines for enforcement of the GHS rules, which include unannounced site inspections and significant fines. Click https://www.osha.gov/sites/default/files/publications/OSHA3636.pdf for details on OSHA enforcement guidelines and actions.