Originally posted October of 2013
OSHA has updated its Hazard Communication Standard (HazCom) to be aligned with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeing of Chemicals (GHS). This update provides an enhanced approach to communicating hazards in the workplace and implements a uniform system of presenting chemical hazards.
For example, previously, chemical manufacturers were required to distribute Material Safety Data Sheets to work-sites that utilized their chemicals. These documents would detail the various hazards that were involved with the material. However, the manufacturers had the ability to present the material however it wanted (within certain guidelines). With the update to GHS, these MSDS documents are now replaced by Safety Data Sheets (SDS) that follow a strict uniform standard concerning the presentation of hazards.
The bottom line for employers and employees is that the HazCom standard is now more efficient and SDS documents are much easier to navigate.