-Written by Steve Watson-

Image of a GHS Labels.

What is GHS?

GHS stands for Globally Harmonized System of the Classification and Labeling of Chemicals.

What Does it Do?

It is a set of guidelines for ensuring the safe production, transport, handling, use, and disposal of hazardous materials.

Where Did it Come From?

It was developed by the United Nations, as a way to bring into agreement the chemical regulations and standards of different countries. It is a way of getting everyone on the same page.

The Lowdown

The United States officially adopted the GHS on March 26, 2012. To date over 65 countries have adopted GHS or are in the process of adopting GHS.

Tammy King o Label Solutions, Inc. wrote an article for Let's Talk in which she explains the affects that this was going to have on the propane industry. According to King, all employers and employees will be affected by the mandate. The timetable began as of December 1, 2013, when the first deadline required all employees to be trained on the new GHS system, including the meaning behind all the pictograms. The second deadline was June 1, 2015, and required all products being shipped from a manufacture to be labeled in accordance with this new standard. The last deadline was December 1, 2015. This is when all inventory that is being shipped must be labeled properly. Full compliance is required by June 1, 2016.

OSHA has hired four hundred new inspectors, and fines were doubled leading up to the initial June 1, 2015 deadline. According to King, OSHA has given inspectors the ability to use discretion and show leniency if employers prove they have done their due diligence by making a good-faith effort to comply by the June 1 deadline. To prove the effort has been made, OSHA requires documentation and a timeline for implementation.

Tarantin Industries' purchasing department is working closely with our suppliers to make sure that your labels and decals are in compliance with the GHS regulations.

Article update

For more information read this Interview with NPGA on the container labeling requirements from OSHA.

Also, here's 5 things to know about OSHA's HCS 2012 regulation

  1. The Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) 2012 updates four elements of OSHA’s HCS requirements, including written hazard communication programs at the workplace, employee training, safety data sheets, and labels.
  2. HCS 2012 does not expand the scope of containers that must be labeled. If it had an OSHA label prior to HCS 2012 regulation, it must have a HCS 2012 label today.
  3. HCS 2012 requires more specific information on labels than previously required and changes how that information is displayed.
  4. HCS 2012 is an OSHA regulation applicable to the workplace environment and is enforceable by OSHA only. It does not regulate transportation or involve DOT regulations.
  5. The compliance deadline for HCS 2012 labels was Dec. 1, 2015.



 

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