As of June 1 chemical manufacturers, importers, distributors and employers are required to provide a label that includes a single word, pictogram, hazard statement, and precautionary statement for each hazard class and category. Beginning in December of this, distributors may only ship containers labeled by the chemical manufacturer or importer if the labels meet these requirements. This continues the roll out of the new harmonization of labels and safety data sheets for chemicals found in many work places today.
The June 1, 2015 deadline was established in 2012 when OSHA aligned its Hazard Communication Standard with the global standard for chemical product labeling.
The new format for Safety Data Sheets requires 16 specific sections to ensure consistency in presentation of important protection information. The provisions for labeling offer workers an easier to understand and consistent labeling content for better protection from chemical hazards in the workplace. For more information, see OSHA's Hazard Communication webpage.
Employer responsibility to train workers on these new label and safety data sheet elements were triggered at the end of 2014. NLBMDA developed specific guidance material on employer responsibilities and offered a webinar series on the same. The employer’s responsibility to train is ongoing for all new employees. Also, as new safety data sheets come into the marketplace, employers will want to update their records pursuant to their written Hazard Communications plans.