Lots of Attention Paid to GHS

Three educational sessions during this week’s Safety 2012 conference are devoted to the new final rule enacted by OSHA to conform its HazCom Standard to the Globally Harmonized System, and many exhibitors are seeing lots of interest from attendees.

DENVER – GHS is one of the hottest topics at the American Society of Safety Engineers’ Safety 2012 conference taking place at the Colorado Convention Center, with three educational sessions devoted to the topic and personnel at many exhibitor booths offering help for safety managers trying to come to grips with the changes.

OSHA recently revised its Hazard Communication Standard to align it with the GHS system for labeling chemicals, creating safety data sheets, and informing and training workers. The final rule took several years to complete, but employers are still learning what is required of them (there are four upcoming deadlines for compliance, and full effectiveness of the new standard comes in 2015) and how to manage the process, several exhibitors said June 4.

OSHA Assistant Secretary Dr. David Michaels noted the GHS final rule was an OSHA proposal begun during George W. Bush’s presidency and was endorsed by the chemical industry. Even so, three or four industry groups have filed legal actions seeking modifications in it, he said during a brief press conference following his plenary session speech here June 4. Michaels said OSHA has not yet seen the industry groups’ filings and thus is not certain what changes they seek. 

About the Author

Laura Swift is Senior Content Editor of two magazines owned by 1105 Media Inc., Occupational Health & Safety and Security Products.

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