Now that we are well on our way into the New Year, we are fast approaching the June 1 deadline to comply with the GHS in the United States. Have you begun implementation of new Safety Data Sheets, labels and training requirements?
Where to Start?
The first phase of the transition required employees to be trained on Safety Data Sheets and labels by December 1, 2013. The purpose of this training is to ensure that worker hazard communication includes what to expect in the GHS (e.g. new pictograms, signal words, precautionary statements). By now, your employees should be seeing new SDSs and labels from vendors. Are you seeing any “bumps in the road” in worker awareness? Interview your workers and do spot checks - if gaps exist, conduct refresher training soon.
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Contact your Raw Material Suppliers
Even prior to the new GHS adoption, employers were always responsible for ensuring that workplace hazardous chemicals had corresponding Material Safety Data Sheets. If your current process of material procurement involves a regular inquiry to your vendors, make sure to request that updated GHS Safety Data Sheets are sent with the next shipment. If your vendors haven’t transitioned, you may need to work with them to meet the deadline.