We are in the process of updating our current Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) to meet the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) new SDS (Safety Data Sheet) format and information standard. All technical documents produced by W. R. Meadows will be updated to comply with OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard Final Rule.
According to OSHA’s website, the new Hazard Communication Standard is being brought into alignment with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS).
This system was developed to create a standardized system for the classification and labelling of chemicals to logically define health, physical, and environmental hazards of chemicals, create classification processes that use available data on chemicals for comparison with the defined hazard criteria, and communicate hazard information, as well as protective measures, on labels and Safety Data Sheets (SDS).
In doing so, OSHA says that this change will improve safety and health protection for workers in the United States by further preventing injuries and illness and by saving lives and improving trade conditions for chemical manufacturers.
The following changes will be made to all Material Safety Data Sheets. These changes to the Hazard Communication Standard were taken from OSHA’s website:
Major changes to the Hazard Communication Standard:
- Hazard classification: Chemical manufacturers and importers are required to determine the hazards of the chemicals they produce or import. Hazard classification under the new, updated standard provides specific criteria to address health and physical hazards as well as classification of chemical mixtures.
- Labels: Chemical manufacturers and importers must provide a label that includes a signal word, pictogram, hazard statement, and precautionary statement for each hazard class and category.
- Safety Data Sheets: The new format requires 16 specific sections, ensuring consistency in presentation of important protection information.
- Information and training: To facilitate understanding of the new system, the new standard requires that workers be trained by December 1, 2013 on the new label elements and safety data sheet format, in addition to the current training requirements.
Changes from the Proposed to the Final Rule: OSHA reviewed the record and revised the Final Rule in response to the comments submitted. Major changes include:
- Maintaining the disclosure of exposure limits (Threshold Limit Values [TLVs]) established by the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) and carcinogen status from nationally and internationally recognized lists of carcinogens on the safety data sheets;
- Clarification that the borders of pictograms must be red on the label;
- Flexibility regarding the required precautionary and hazard statements to allow label preparers to consolidate and/or eliminate inappropriate or redundant statements; and
- Longer deadlines for full implementation of the standard
W. R. Meadows plans on having all documents updated by late 2014. Any questions about the new Safety Data Sheets? Please comment below.