OSHA revised its Hazard Communication Standard to align with the United Nations’ Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). The two significant changes contained in the revised standard require the use of new labeling elements and a standardized format for Safety Data Sheets (SDSs), formerly known as, Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs). Gribbins Insulation Company trained all employees in 2013 on the new label elements and SDS format.
Information included on new labels includes: Product Identifier – how the hazardous chemical is identified. Signal Word – indicates the level of severity of the hazard and alert reader to a potential hazard on the label. There are only two signal words, “Danger” and “Warning”. Within a specific hazard class, “Danger” is used for the more severe hazards and “Warning” is used for the less severe hazards. Pictograms – OSHA’s required pictograms must be in the shape of a square set at a point and include a black hazard symbol on a white background with a red frame sufficiently wide enough to be clearly visible. A square red frame set at a point without a hazard symbol is not a pictogram and is not permitted on the label. OSHA has designated eight pictograms under this standard for application to a hazard category. Hazard statement (s) – describe the nature of the hazard(s) of a chemical, including, where appropriate, the degree of hazard. For example: “Causes damage to kidneys through prolonged or repeated exposure when absorbed through the skin.” All of the applicable hazard statements must appear on the label. Precautionary statement(s) – means a phrase that describes recommended measures that should be taken to minimize or prevent adverse effects resulting from exposure to a hazardous chemical or improper storage or handling. Contact Information – Name, address and phone number of the chemical manufacturer, distributor, or importer. How an employee might use the labels in the workplace – For example, Explain how information on the label can be used to ensure proper storage of hazardous chemicals. Explain how the information on the label might be used to quickly locate information on first aid when needed by employees or emergency personnel. General understanding of how the elements work together on a label. For example, Explain that where a chemical has multiple hazards, different pictograms are used to identify the various hazards. The employee should expect to see the appropriate pictogram for the corresponding hazard class. Explain that where there are similar precautionary statements, the one providing the most protective information will be included on the label.
Safety Data Sheets (SDS):
The information contained in the SDS is largely the same as the MSDS, except now the SDSs are required to be presented in a consistent user-friendly, 16 section format. The SDS includes information such as the properties of each chemical, the physical, health, and environmental health hazards, protective measures, safety precautions for handling, storing and transporting the chemical. The information must be in English, but it may be in other languages as well. The information on the SDS should be the same as on the label. The sections of the SDS are as follows: Section 1: Identification – Includes product identifier; manufacturer or distributor name, address, phone number; emergency phone number; recommended use; restrictions on use. Section 2: Hazard(s) Identification – Includes all hazards regarding the chemical; required label elements. Section 3: Composition/information on ingredients – Includes information on chemical ingredients; trade secrets claims. Section 4: First-aid measures – Includes important symptoms/effects, acute, delayed; required treatment. Section 5: Fire Fighting measures – Lists suitable extinguishing techniques, equipment; chemical hazards from fire. Section 6: Accidental release measures – Lists emergency procedures; protective equipment; proper methods of containment and cleanup. Section 7: Handling and storage – Lists precautions for safe handling and storage, including incompatibilities.
Section 8: Exposure controls/personal protection – Lists OSHA’s Permissible Exposure Limits (PELs); Threshold Limit Values (TLVs); appropriate engineering controls; personal protective equipment (PPE). Section 9: Physical and chemical properties – Lists the chemical’s characteristics. Section 10: Stability and reactivity – Lists chemical stability and possibility of hazardous reactions. Section 11: Toxicological information – Includes routes of exposure; related symptoms, acute and chronic effects; numerical measures of toxicity. Section 12: Ecological information. Section 13: Disposal considerations. Section 14: Transport information. Section 15: Regulatory information. Section 16: Other information includes the date of preparation or last revision.