Be sure the training you provide also includes the new SDSs, and familiarizing employees with the 16-section standardized format. It may be helpful to quiz them on these sections and ask what type of information should be included in each. To help with that, OSHA has created a QuickCard that identifies each section on the SDS. The QuickCard breaks down each section by number and name, describing what information is included in each area. By June 1, 2015, all SDSs will need to be in this uniform format so familiarize your employees now and get a head start. It may be helpful to print these QuickCards out so employees can have them readily available at their work station should questions arise.
OSHA estimates that more than 5 million workplaces in the United States will be affected by this revised HazCom Standard. That means there are more than 43 million Americans that could be exposed to hazardous chemicals and need this training. OSHA also estimates that 43 fatalities and 585 injuries and illnesses will be prevented annually based on the implementation and standardization of this hazard communication. The monetized value of this reduction in occupational risks is an estimated $250 million a year on an annualized basis.
While compliance with many of the new standards is not required for a few years, OSHA is ensuring workers are provided with “the right to understand” during this first phase. By June 1st 2015, compliance with all modified provisions of the final rule will be required. By December of that year, distributors cannot ship containers labeled by the chemical manufacturer or importer unless the GHS label is applied. However, since the OSHA requirements on these standard are still a couple years off, many companies are simply waiting to comply with the new standards once requirements are finalized.