It feels like we have been waiting for this rule forever! OSHA has finally announced that the final rule for Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals or GHS will become law effective May 25, 2012. This meaning the effective date of the rule is 60 days after March 26th. The new standard, once implemented, will prevent an estimated 43 deaths and result in an estimated $475.2 million in enhanced productivity for U.S. businesses each year.
As stated by OSHA, “The revised standard also is expected to prevent an estimated 585 injuries and illnesses annually. It will reduce trade barriers and result in estimated annualized benefits in productivity improvements for American businesses that regularly handle, store and use hazardous chemicals, as well as cost savings of $32.2 million for American businesses that periodically update safety data sheets and labels for chemicals covered under the standard”.
The Hazard Communication Standard is being revised to align with the United Nations’ Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals. It will be fully implemented in 2016. OSHA is going to give employers the following phase-in or transition period to comply with the new GHS requirements.
The 4-Year GHS Phase-In Period
|Effective Completion Date||Requirements||Who|
|December 1, 2013||Train employees on the new label elements and SDS format||Employers|
|June 1, 2015||Compliance with all requirements of the GHS final rule except voluntary compliance with GHS label until December 1, 2015||Chemical manufacturers, importer, distributors, and employers
|December 1, 2015||The Distributor shall not ship containers labeled by the chemical manufacturer or importer unless it is a GHS label||Chemical manufacturers, importer, distributors, and employers|
|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||Employers|
|May 25, 2012||May comply with either 29 CFR 1910.1200 (this final standard), or the current standard, or both||Chemical manufacturers, importer, distributors, and employers|
For more information check out OSHA’s webpage: http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=NEWS_RELEASES&p_id=22038