Hazard Communication Standard Update: Globally Harmonized System

In March 2012, OSHA updated the Hazard Communication Standard (29 CFR 1910.1200)  (HAZ COM) to align with the United Nations’ Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS).  Under the 2012 HAZCOM revision, significant changes were made to the chemical labeling and Material Safety Data Sheets.

Chemical Labeling

Chemical labels now must have the following information:

1. Manufacturer’s Information (name, address, and phone number)

2. Product Identifier (chemical name, batch number, and/or code number)

3. Signal Words (Danger – severe hazards, or Warning – less severe hazards)

4. Hazard Statements (nature of chemical, degree of hazard, and possible adverse effects)

5. Precautionary Statements (measures to be taken to lessen or prevent adverse effects from exposure)

6. Supplemental Information (directions, expiration date, PPE pictograms, and/or ingredients of unknown acute toxicity – greater or equal to 1%)

New Label Pictograms

Pictograms representing some hazards have changed.  Below is a listing of the changes:

Label Examples

Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs) are now known as Safety Data Sheets (SDSs).  The information listed in the SDSs is primarily the same, but the format now consists of 16 individual sections:

1. Manufacturer Identification                                            9. Physical and Chemical Properties

2. Hazard Identification                                                       10. Stability and Reactivity

3. Composition/Information on Ingredients              11. Toxicological Information

4. First Aid Measures                                                            12. Ecological Information

5. Fire Fighting Measures                                                    13. Disposal Considerations

6. Accidental Release Measures                                       14. Transport Information

7. Handling and Storage                                                      15. Regulatory Information

8. Exposure Controls/Personal Protection                16.  Other

How does this affect research labs?

1. The labels on some stock chemicals will change

2. External lab signage will change (EHSO will be facilitating updates in the future)

3. Relevant sections in the annual lab safety training will change

4. SDSs will be updated


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