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Employers Take Note That the Clock is Ticking on OSHA's Revised Hazard Communication Standard

February 2013

By: Anthony J. Caruso, Esq.

It's time to start further training your employees in new OSHA standards.

The federal Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) has modified the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) to conform with the United Nations (UN) Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). The reason for the modification is to improve safety and health of workers through more effective communications on chemical hazards.

  • OSHA estimates that over 5 million workplaces in the United States would be affected by the revised Hazard Communication Standard (HCS). These are all those workplaces where employees - a total of approximately 43 million of them - could be exposed to hazardous chemicals. Included among these 5 million workplaces are an estimated 90,000 establishments that create hazardous chemicals; these chemical producers employ almost 3 million workers.

The major changes to the Hazard Communication Standard are in hazard classification, labels, and safety data sheets.

Based upon these changes, employers must start training their employees now about the revised Hazard Communications Standard to meet the completion date deadline of December 1, 2013.

Any readers who wish free information on these modified OSHA standards (or wish to discuss them), please call Senior Attorney Anthony J. Caruso of Wessels Sherman's St. Charles, IL office at (630) 377-1554 or email him at ancaruso@wesselssherman.com.