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OSHA deadline of December 1 for Hazcom compliance is fast approaching

The first phase of the new OSHA requirements for Hazard Communications goes into effect December 1. By this date, employees must be properly trained on two new requirements: labels and Safety Data Sheets. It is estimated that over five million businesses are impacted by the new requirements, which affects all workers who come in contact with hazardous chemicals.

While training on hazard communications is not new, the new compliance date is for bringing employees up to speed on changes to the standard, and is in addition to the training employers already should have been conducting. Specifically, employees must be trained on the new format of Safety Data Sheets (formerly known as Material Safety Data Sheets) and new labels, which include pictograms and signal words.

In our March eBulletin, we offered an extensive Q & A, "What you need to know about the 2013 deadline for OSHA's new Hazard Communications Standard," that you may find helpful. In addition, OSHA has updated its hazard communication pages including a fact sheet that covers the standard's training requirements and a brief that the agency created explaining labels and their elements, what pictograms are and how to use them.