The revised Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) announced this week will provide specific criteria for health and physical hazards to help chemical manufacturers and importers classify chemical hazards, according to OSHA. Hazard classification is the procedure of identifying and evaluating available scientific evidence to determine if a chemical is hazardous, and the degree of the hazard.
The requirements for labeling hazardous chemicals under the HCS will change. As of June 1, 2015, all labels will be required to have pictograms, a signal word, hazard and precautionary statements, the product identifier, and supplier identification. A sample of a revised partial HCS label, identifying the required label elements, is shown at right. Supplemental information can also be provided on the label as needed.
Chemical manufacturers and importers will be required to provide new labels that include a harmonized signal word, pictogram, and hazard statement based on the hazard classification. Precautionary statements must also be provided. Safety data sheets (SDS) will have a specified 16-section format.
The modified HCS will also require that workers receive information and training by December 1, 2013 to facilitate recognition and understanding of the new labels and safety data sheets.