Monday, June 8, 2015

From Safety 2015: Ready for GHS Deadlines in 2015?

In their June 8 Safety 2015 session, "GHS: Two Deadlines Hit in 2015. Are You Ready?" Chuck Haling, MSDSonline's vice president of sales, and Glenn Trout, the firm's CEO and president, explained the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Hazardous Chemicals (GHS) phased-in compliance deadlines, put in to place when OSHA revised its HazCom standard to align with the United Nations’ model HazCom system.

When OSHA adopted GHS, it implemented a series of four phased-in compliance deadlines. In the U.S., many employers are still struggling to satisfy requirements of OSHA’s first GHS deadline, which went into effect on Dec. 1, 2013. This was the date by which all employers were to have completed employee training on the new GHS label elements for shipped containers, and the updated safety data sheet format. In 2015, there are two deadlines: June 1 and Dec. 1.

Haling and Trout reviewed the requirement deadlines, which include reclassifying chemicals using the new GHS health and physical hazard criteria adopted by OSHA, and producing GHS-formatted SDSs and labels, and dates by which distributors must only ship chemical products labeled in the HazCom 2012/GHS-format after a 6-month grace period to divest old inventory.

During the session, Haling and Trout also offered a road map to compliance based on these steps:
  1. Designate a GHS transition leader. 
  2. Keep HazCom plans current. 
  3. Train and prepare employees. 
  4. Ensure that existing systems can handle the transition. 
This session was recorded during Safety 2015 and is available for purchase on