AIHA Hosts Webinar on OSHA's Proposal to Adopt GHS Hazard Communication

The American Industrial Hygiene Association® (AIHA) will host "OSHA's Proposal to Adopt the Globally Harmonized System for Hazard Communication," an intermediate TeleWeb Virtual Seminar on Nov. 19, 2009, from 2-4:30 p.m. ET. Featured speakers are Jennifer Silk and Denese Deeds, CIH.

OSHA's proposal to align its Hazard Communication Standard with globally harmonized provisions is the first major rulemaking action of the agency by the new administration. The Globally Harmonized System for Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) provides specific criteria to characterize health, physical, and environmental hazards of chemicals. It also includes harmonized label elements and an agreed format for safety data sheets.

Jennifer Silk chaired the international coordinating group that managed the development of GHS and represented the U.S. government during the negotiations. She was also the U.S. expert to the United Nations Subcommittee of Experts on GHS. Retired from OSHA, where she was deputy director of Standards and Guidance, Silk is currently working as a consultant and is a training advisor to the United Nations Institute of Training and Research on issues related to GHS.

Silk will explain the provisions of the proposed rule and discuss the differences between the proposal and the existing requirements of the Hazard Communication Standard. The proposed revisions involve extensive changes to the approach for evaluating hazards as well as communicating those hazards on container labels and safety data sheets.

Denese Deeds is co-founder of Industrial Health & Safety Consultants Inc. (IH&SC) where she is the director of Chemical Regulatory Services. In that function she prepares material safety data sheets (MSDS), labels, and other hazard communication documents; files international chemical registrations; and assists companies with overall chemical regulatory compliance. She has 38 years in the field and is a recognized expert in her field. Prior to founding IH&SC, she worked as an industrial hygienist for General Electric and Westinghouse.

Deeds will discuss the implications of adopting the GHS for safety and health professionals and the changes to existing programs that the revised standard will require. Specific topics will include how the revised standard will affect your current written hazard communication program, your in-plant labeling systems, and training programs.

On completion, participants will be able to:

  • Describe OSHA's proposal to revise the Hazard Communication Standard
  • Discuss the differences between the proposed revisions and the current standard
  • Identify changes that will be needed in workplace hazard communication programs
  • Prepare to implement proposed revisions

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