Will These Changes Impact Your Business?
Are you one of the following businesses within the real estate sector?
- Residential Multi-Family
- Commercial Office
- Retail and Mixed Use Properties
- Property Management Firms
Chances are, you are one of the thousands of properties throughout the country that will be affected by OSHA’s revised Hazard Communication Standard (HCS).
The newly modified HCS now includes the Globally Harmonized System (GHS), an international approach to managing hazardous chemicals. This system is based on major existing systems currently functioning around the world, including OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard.
What Does This Mean for You?
How does this change have anything to do with your business? Your maintenance employees might only use a few different chemicals during a normal work day, and there’s no health or safety risk involved.
OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard is for some other company, not for your business, right? If this is what you’re thinking, then you’re making a potentially dangerous assumption that could be dead wrong.
Why Did OSHA Decide to Modify the Hazard Communication Standard?
By modifying the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) to adopt the Globally Harmonized System (GHS), OSHA is improving the safety and health of workers through more effective communications on chemical hazards.
Now the HCS, which was first publicized in 1983, will give workers both within the US and across international borders a standardized approach to classifying hazards. Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) will no longer be in whatever format employers and employees choose.
With the adoption of the Globally Harmonized System (GHS), there will be detailed criteria for determining what hazardous effects a chemical poses, standardized label elements assigned by hazard class and category, and safety data sheet requirements that establish an order of information.
Regardless of the international origin of the Safety Data Sheets, the requirements for labels will be easily recognized and understood. Because the US is both a major importer and exporter of chemicals, the appropriate handling and safe use of workplace chemicals for all employers, workers, health professionals, and emergency responders will improve worldwide.
Coming up next:
What is the phase-in period for the revised Hazard Communication Standard (HCS)?