I have seen no less than 20 emails inviting me to webinars that will help me get my house in order for all the changes coming with the OSHA Hazard Communication Standard this year. From the tone of these emails, it would seem like the sky is falling! You know what? The sky is not falling … although there is work to be done to implement the changes.
OSHA has a reasonable timeline for compliance and with planning, we can get through this with ease! Here’s our take on the issue …
On first glance, the changes seem monumental …
- 90,000 workplaces = the number of sites that produce hazardous chemicals in the US. HazCom 2012 requires these manufacturers to.
- Modify the hazard classification for chemicals they produce
- Create new labels to highlight these hazards
- Draft and distribute revised Material Safety Data Sheets (now referred to as Safety Data Sheets)
- 43 million US workers = the number of workers in the 5 million facilities that will be notified of the new physical and health hazard classifications for the chemicals in their workplaces by new labels and Safety Data Sheets communicating these hazards.
- $201 million a year = the cost OSHA estimates to roll out HazCom 2012 for the entire United States. OSHA lists yearly program element costs as follows:
- $22.5 million for chemical hazards classification based on the GHS criteria and revising safety data sheets and labels to meet new format and content requirements
- $24.1 million for printing packaging and labels for hazardous chemicals in color
- $95.4 million for employee training about the new warning symbols and the revised safety data sheet format under GHS
- $59 million a year for management to become familiar with the new GHS system and to engage in other management-related activities as may be necessary for industry's adoption of GHS
Let’s look at the actual tasks each organization has to accomplish for compliance:
With a plan … these tasks are quite doable!
- Chemical Users: Continue to update safety data sheets when new ones become available, provide training on the new label elements and SDS format and update hazard communication programs if new hazards are identified.
- Chemical Producers: Review hazard information for all chemicals produced or imported, classify chemicals according to the new classification criteria, and update labels and safety data sheets.
OSHA’s HazCom 2012 Compliance Timeline …
||December 1, 2013|
||June 1, 2015|
||June 1, 2016|
On April 25, Emilcott will be presenting a HazCom 2012 Webinar for anyone interested. Our approach—let’s not try to alarm everyone, but let’s provide a basic understanding of the changes made to the standard and a simple plan of action for employers to meet the regulatory requirements within the specified time frames. Would you like to join us?
Register here: OSHA HazCom 2012: A Simple Plan for Compliance