Milwaukee, WI, May 12, 2015 --(PR.com
)-- TEKLYNX International, the world’s leading developer of barcode labeling software solutions, is urging companies to work towards GHS labeling compliance as the June 1, 2015 deadline rapidly approaches. In the chemical industry, safety is of the utmost importance. The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) estimates that over 43 million employees in the United States could be exposed to hazardous chemicals. Implementing appropriate work practices and exposure guidelines can reduce health and safety risks. This involves creating accurate and secure labels for chemical materials, allowing workers to quickly and easily understand information about the hazards they are exposed to.
OSHA has made modifications to the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) final rule to adopt the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) in effort to improve the health and safety of employees working with hazardous chemicals. Effective June 1, 2015, all chemical manufacturers, importers, distributors and employers must ensure all labels and safety data sheets (SDSs) comply with the modified provisions.
With the next compliance date rapidly approaching, now is the time to move from learning about the regulation to taking action and implementing key components to meet the requirements.
There are many changes to the HCS, beginning with chemical manufacturers and importers being required to provide a label that includes a harmonized signal word, hazard statement, and pictogram for each hazard class and category. Formerly known as Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs), Safety Data Sheets must now have a specified 16-section format, as defined in this OSHA brief. Also, the definitions of hazard now include specific criteria for classification of health and physical hazards, as well as classification of mixtures. This will ensure that evaluations of hazardous effects are consistent across manufacturers, and that labels and SDSs are more accurate as a result.
It is vital to choose the right labeling software to label chemicals with required GHS elements. Chemical labels under GHS must include the following:
· Hazard Statement: This describes the nature of the product’s hazard with a phrase assigned to the hazard class
· Pictogram: This is a graphic symbol that is intended to visually convey specific hazard information, and must include a red border (or black border for workplace labels only)
· Signal Word: Must use either “Danger” (severe) or “Warning” (less severe)
· Product Identifier: This should be identical to the product identifier on the SDS
· Supplier Identification: The name, telephone number, and address of the supplier or manufacturer must be listed
· Precautionary Statement: This describes recommended measures to reduce or prevent adverse effects resulting from exposure
When choosing label design software, be sure that the application allows for database integration, so you can easily design and print GHS compliant labels using information from a text file or database to include standardized data elements that meet GHS requirements. Having a label approval module that allows you to approve label designs using electronic signatures will help you meet industry mandates that require label security and traceability.
“With the extraordinarily high level of accuracy required for chemical labeling, choosing a labeling software that can efficiently meet those needs will be imperative to success,” said David Kane, Label Design Product Manager of TEKLYNX Americas.
Implementing the final rule will:
Improve the quality and consistency of hazard information in the workplace, making it safer for workers to do their jobs and easier for employers to stay competitive;
Enhance worker comprehension of hazards, especially for low and limited-literacy workers, reduce confusion in the workplace, facilitate safety training, and result in safer handling and use of chemicals;
Provide workers quicker and more efficient access to information on the safety data sheets;
Result in cost savings to American businesses of more than $475 million in productivity improvements, fewer safety data sheet and label updates and simpler new hazard communication training: and
Reduce trade barriers by harmonizing with systems around the world.
As rules and regulations are finalized and compliance dates approach, It is important to become familiar with the details of the GHS regulation and how to achieve compliance. “Chemical labeling will be vital for success of the GHS regulation, and in improving workplace safety,” said Kane. “It is best to get started now to implement a plan to reach GHS compliance by the mandated deadline, and realize long-term benefits from having a safer workplace.”