Safety and health newsletter for the Oregon construction industry

October 21, 2013


Hazard communication: deadline approaching for training employees about labels, safety data sheets

Hazard pictograms

Dec. 1, 2013, is the deadline for training your employees about the information on the new “globally harmonized” labels they will see on containers of hazardous chemicals and the new 16-section format on safety data sheets.

If you have not trained your employees yet, here is what they need to know about labels and safety data sheets by Dec. 1:

The new label

Each hazardous chemical container must have a label in English that identifies the chemical and its hazards. By June 1, 2015, all labels must include the following information:

Employers must ensure that their employees understand all the elements on the new “globally harmonized” label for containers of hazardous chemicals (pictured below).

The new 16-section safety data sheet

Safety data sheets, which replace material safety data sheets, include information about a hazardous chemical’s health effects, its physical and chemical characteristics, and the safe practices for using it. All chemical manufacturers, suppliers, and distributors must prepare their safety data sheets in a standard 16-section format by June 1, 2015. The 16-section format includes the following information:

Section label

What it describes

 1. Identification

Includes product identifier; manufacturer or distributor name, address, phone number; emergency phone number; recommendations and restrictions on use.

 2. Hazards identified

Describes the product’s chemical hazards and the required label elements.

 3. Composition or information on ingredients

Describes the products chemical ingredients and trade secret claims.

 4. First-aid measures

Describes initial care for people exposed to the product; describes symptoms, effects, and required treatment.

 5. Firefighting measures

Includes recommendations for fighting fires caused by the product; lists suitable extinguishing techniques and equipment; chemical hazards from fire.

 6. Accidental release measures

Includes recommendations for responding to spills, leaks and releases of the product; lists emergency procedures; protective equipment; proper methods of containment and cleanup.

 7. Handling and storage requirements

Describes the product’s safe handling practices and precautions for storing.

 8. Exposure controls and personal protection

Describes measures to minimize worker exposure to the product; lists OSHA’s Permissible Exposure Limits (PELs); Threshold Limit Values (TLVs); appropriate engineering controls and personal protective equipment.

 9. Physical and chemical properties

Describes the product’s physical and chemical properties.

10. Stability and reactivity

Describes the product’s chemical stability and risk of hazardous reactions.

11. Toxicological information

Describes the product’s toxic health effects and routes of exposure.

12. Ecological information

Describes the product’s effects if released into the environment.

13. Disposal considerations

Describes how to dispose of the product properly.

14. Transport information

Includes information about shipping or transporting the product properly.

15. Regulatory information

Includes regulatory information about the product not included anywhere else on the safety data sheet.

16. Information on preparation and revision of the SDS

Identifies when the safety data sheet was prepared and updated.

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But remember: the information in this newsletter is intended to highlight safe work practices, but it does not replace Oregon OSHA workplace safety and health rules.

For information about Oregon OSHA services and answers to technical questions, call (503) 378-3272 or toll-free within Oregon, (800) 922-2689.