The Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) was originally adopted by OSHA in 1994. Since its recent update, it is now aligned with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) used throughout the world.
Revisions to the HCS are intended to provide a common and coherent approach to classifying chemicals and communicating hazard information on labels and safety data sheets. This update will also help reduce trade barriers and result in productivity improvements for American businesses that regularly handle, store, and use hazardous chemicals while providing cost savings for American businesses that periodically update safety data sheets and labels for chemicals covered under the hazard communication standard.
Hazard classification: Provides specific criteria for classification of health and physical hazards, as well as classification of mixtures.
Labels: Chemical manufacturers and importers will be required to 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: Will now have a specified 16-section format.
Information and training: Employers are required to train workers on the new labels elements and safety data sheets format to facilitate recognition and understanding.