Throughout 2014, ISHN will report in each issue on one of the 12 most frequently cited OSHA standards, for fiscal year 2013, ending September 30, 2013.


Total penalty amount proposed by OSHA for violations of the hazard communication standard 1910.1200 (October 2012 through September 2013).


Number of total citations

43 million workers

5+  million workplaces

are covered by OSHA’s GHS standard


Number of total inspections

Most penalized industries

Foundation, Structure, and Building Exterior Contractors — $220,089

Automotive Repair and Maintenance — $130,611

Building Finishing Contractors — $50,847

Architectural and Structural Metals Manufacturing — $79,642

Machine Shops; Turned Product; and Screw, Nut, and Bolt Manufacturing — $70,913

The “New Hazcom”

On March 26, 2012, OSHA amended the 1983 hazard communication standard to align with the Globally Harmonized System for the Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS). The Hazard Communication Standard of ’83 gave the workers the “right to know,” but the new Globally Harmonized System gives workers the “right to understand.”

Major changes to the hazard communication standard:

• Hazard classification: Chemical manufacturers and importers are required to determine the hazards of the chemicals they produce or import. Hazard classification under the new, updated standard provides specific criteria to address health and physical hazards as well as classification of chemical mixtures.

• Labels: Chemical manufacturers and importers must provide a label that includes a signal word, pictogram, hazard statement, and precautionary statement for each hazard class and category.

• Safety Data Sheets: The new format requires 16 specific sections, ensuring consistency in presentation of important protection information.

• Information and training: To facilitate understanding of the new system, the new standard requires that workers be trained by December 1, 2013 on the new label elements and safety data sheet format, in addition to the current training requirements.

Wal-Mart to upgrade hazcom training

As part of a 2013 settlement agreement with OSHA covering all 2,857 Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club stores under federal jurisdiction, Wal-Mart agreed to enhance safety and health practices and training related to trash compactors, cleaning chemicals and hazard communications corporate-wide. Regarding a store’s cleaning chemicals dispensing equipment, Wal-Mart will ensure employees are trained on the new procedures in a language, format, and vocabulary that the workers can understand. The settlement resolves two enforcement cases that began in 2011. For the health citations pertinent to the corporate-wide cleaning chemical and hazard communication abatement, the settlement affirms two serious citations related to personal protective equipment, and two serious hazard communication citations. As part of the settlement, Wal-Mart has agreed to pay $190,000 in civil penalties.