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OSHA’s New HAZCOM/ GHS Directive

OSHA – Effective July 9th, OSHA has established new policies and procedures regarding the enforcement of the Hazard Communication Standard. You can read the new directive here. Providing a detailed checklist of policies and procedures, the new Standard enables Certified Safety and Health Officials with a more effective means to inspect for compliance with HAZCOM/ GHS regulations. In an attempt to establish efficient controls, there are 4 key areas that require employer attention.

  1. Written Hazard Communication Plan – It is important that a written communication plan is present in the workplace where employers are handling hazardous chemicals. The plan must include specifics on the labeling process and regulations, methods to provide on-site access to Safety Data Sheets for employees and details on where they are to be obtained, a chemical inventory, and hazard training. Everything in this plan must be up-to-date.
  2. Chemical Inventory List – Every chemical in the workplace, even those not in use, must be documented with an SDS and label. Furthermore, they must be updated with any new GHS reclassification.
  3. Labels and WarningsAll labels and warnings must comply with GHS Revision 3. However, more recent regulations take precedence. An example would be the UN’s Revision 4 of GHS that includes a new category for aerosols. In regards to shipping labels, they must comply with the updated GHS labels, including product identifier, signal words, hazard statements and precautionary statements. Referencing only the GHS precautionary statement number will not be sufficient. As for workplace labels, they must be immediately accessible to all employees and must be legible without the use of an aid.
  4. Training – Hazard training is required for all employees that are handling or working in a facility with chemicals. This includes labeling requirements, SDS requirements and measures for protection form hazards. This training must be in place at the time the employee begins working with hazardous chemicals and when a new hazard is introduced.  

Remember, these are just a few key points in the new OSHA Standard. It is extremely important that you become familiar with the new requirements in order to meet compliance, especially in the wake of Tianjin hazardous material incident last week. A single misstep or failure to meet regulation standards can result in an accident.

The Integrated Group is fully versed on HAZCOM training and compliance. To schedule a training, please call 425.822.8500 or email us at

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