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OSHA GHS December 1st Deadline Quickly Approaching

The first phase of the Global Harmonized System (GHS) standards takes effect on December 1, 2013. This is an entire revision of the Hazard Communication Standard (29 CFR 1910.1200) regarding chemical safety in the workplace.
The United Nations developed this system to classify hazardous chemicals and communicate those hazards via labels and safety data sheets. In an ever-growing global economy, this system will help all parties in the supply chain to communicate and understand hazards. The new system subdivides physical and health hazard classes into sub-categories based upon severity. They also form new formats for safety data sheets and labels.
The regulation requires training of all affected employees prior to 12/01/13. The training must cover the new labels and Safety Data Sheets (SDS) [formerly Material Safety Data Sheets] formats in addition to the previously required employee training regarding workplace chemical safety.

Training should include:

  • Type of information the employee would expect to see on the new labels.
  • How an employee might use the labels in the workplace.
  • General understanding of how the elements work together on a label.
  • Training on the format of the SDS.
  • How the information on the label is related to the SDS.

Essential Links

Spanish Language: OSHA requires training to be in a language that is easily understood by the employee.  Therefore, NSC has also made this training kit available in Spanish.

Be aware of the revised Hazard Communication Standard (HCS):


Effective Completion Date



December 1, 2013

Train employees on the new label elements and safety data sheet (SDS) format.


June 1, 2015

December 1,1015

Compliance with all modified provisions of this final rule, except:

The Distributor shall not ship containers labeled by the chemical manufacturer or importer unless it is a GHS label

Chemical manufacturers, importers, distributors, and employers

June 1, 2016

Update alternative workplace labeling and hazard communication program as necessary, and provide additional employee training for newly identified physical or health hazards.


Transition Period to the effective completion dates noted above

May comply with either 29 CFR 1910.1200 (the final standard), or the current standard, or both

Chemical manufacturers, importers, distributors, and employers

Courtesy of the United States Department of Labor
If you have any questions please contact Parker, Smith & Feek Risk Control:
Lynne Seville
Anchorage, AK office

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