Fact Sheet: Aligning HAZCOM with GHS

OSHA is proposing modifying the Hazard Communication Standard (HAZCOM) with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS).  Over 40 million workers in more than 5 million workplaces are expected to be impacted at a total cost of approximately $97 million per year to implement (costs to decrease to $42 million per year after initial period of familiarization).

HAZCOM currently:

  • Requires chemical manufacturers and importers to label containers and prepare MSDS’s
  • Requires employers to have a HAZCOM program for workers who have exposures or potential exposures

GHS will:

  • Adopts a standardized method of hazard classification leading to an increase in quality and consistency of information provided to employees and employers
  • Classifies chemicals by their health and physical hazards
  • Specifies hazard communication specifics for labelling and MSDS’s
  • Agreement at an international level

Major changes to HAZCOM:

  • Specific criteria for classification of health and physical hazards of chemicals and mixtures
  • Manufacturers and importers must use standardized labelling methods that include signal word, pictogram, and hazard statement
  • MSDS’s will have a specific 16-section format
  • Workers must be trained within 2 years of the final rule on the recognition and understanding of the GHS labelling and MSDS system

Benefits of GHS:

  • Prevent 43 fatalities per year
  • Prevent 585 illnesses per year
  • Save $754 million per year

Source: OSHA.com