Health & Safety

November 15, 2013

OSHA changes: Material Safety Data Sheets going away

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Safety data sheets are coming! Coming to replace Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) and improve unit understanding of the hazards associated with chemicals in the workplace.

If you currently work in a workplace that uses hazardous chemicals governed by a Hazard Communication (HAZCOM) Program, there are changes to the standard you need to be aware of.

In March 2012, the Occupational Safety and Hazard Administration updated its HAZCOM standard (29 CFR 1910.1200) to align with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals.

The major changes to the standard are:

  • Hazard classification: Provides specific criteria for classification of health and physical hazards, as well as classification of mixtures.
  • Labels: Chemical manufacturers and importers will be required to provide a label that includes a harmonized signal word, pictogram, and hazard statement for each hazard class and category. Precautionary statements must also be provided.
  • Safety Data Sheets (SDS): Will replace “Material Safety Data Sheets” and now have a specified 16-section format.
  • Information and training: Employers are required to train workers by December 1, 2013 on the new label elements and safety data sheet format to facilitate recognition and understanding.

AFI 90-821, Hazard Communication, is currently being rewritten to align with the revised OSHA standard. Publication of the updated AFI is expected by Dec. 31.

Important Implementation Dates:

Doec. 1, 2013 – Employees must be trained on the new label elements and SDS format.

June 1, 2016 – Alternative workplace labeling and HAZCOM programs must be updated as necessary, and additional training for newly identified physical or health hazards must be provided.

The 412th Aerospace Medicine Squadron’s Bioenvironmental Engineering section will send out the required training information to all applicable Edwards AFB organizations, and also be available to provide additional training and information upon request.

Additional Information is available at the OSHA’s HAZCOM Page: https://www.osha.gov/dsg/hazcom/index.html.

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