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Globally Harmonized System

OSHA has amended the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS), 29 CFR 1910.1200, to be aligned with The Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) in an effort to enhance both employer and worker comprehension of hazards. Hazard communication experts from many countries, international organizations, and stakeholder groups spent several years developing the United Nations’ document entitled “Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals,” which is commonly referred to as The Purple Book. The current edition of this document contains classification criteria, standardized labeling elements, pictograms, signal words, and hazard and precautionary statements used to communicate the hazards. Material Safety Data Sheets are becoming Safety Data Sheets, with a specified 16-section format. Chemical Hygiene Plans and Hazard Communication Plans need to be updated to be consistent with the revised Hazard Communication Standard. All employees need to be trained on labels and SDSs by December 1, 2013 in accordance with the revised Hazard Communication Standard.

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