Safety and health newsletter for the Oregon construction industry


September 18, 2012

Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS)

New rules update: Hazard communication

Oregon OSHA will be adopting federal OSHA’s revised hazard communication standard [1910.1200] by Sept. 26, 2012. The revised standard will conform to the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS).

Oregon OSHA is also modifying other standards, including flammable and combustible liquids; spray finishing; reinforced plastics; dipping and coating; welding, cutting, and brazing; hazardous waste operations and emergency response; process safety management; pipe labeling; and most substance-specific health standards to ensure consistency with the revised hazard communication standard.

The hazard communication rule for the construction industry [1926.59] will be repealed and a note will refer readers to the general industry standard.

Implementation dates for the revised hazard communication standard are:

  • Dec. 1, 2013: Employees must be trained on the new label system and on the Safety Data Sheet (SDS) format.
  • June 1, 2015: Full implementation of the standard takes effect.
  • Dec. 1, 2015: Deadline for distributors to re-label their old stock of chemicals. After Dec. 1, 2015, distributors must dispose of the old inventory, send it back to the manufacturer, or put new labels on it before they ship it to a customer.
  • June 1, 2016: Employers must comply with sign and labeling requirements for substance-specific rules such as lead, asbestos, and MDA.

Key changes to the hazard communication standard include:

  • Hazard classification: Manufacturers must classify the hazards of their products rather than evaluate the hazards. The changes provide specific criteria for classifying health and physical hazards, and mixtures.
  • Labels: Chemical manufacturers and importers must provide a label that includes a harmonized signal word, pictogram, and hazard statement for each hazard class and category. Precautionary statements must also be provided.
  • Safety Data Sheets (no longer called material safety data sheets): Must follow a specified 16-section format.


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