What the GHS Means to SiteHawk: the new HazCom 2012

To start off, maybe the question shouldn’t be what does the new HazCom 2012 – GHS transition mean to SiteHawk. Our system is already GHS enabled, with even more features to be added to support our clients. Maybe the question should be more along the lines of, what does the GHS mean to you and your team? If you don’t have an answer for that, we may be able to help you or at least point you in the right direction.

What it means in the overall scheme of things is there are a whole new set of standards you’ll need to conform to. Just to start off, Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) will now be referred as Safety Data Sheets (SDS), with a new format that requires 16 specific sections. You’ll also have to start updating SDSs with new classifications for simple asphyxiants, pyrophoric gas, and combustible dust. Plus current or “old” labels need to be re-worked. Pictograms need to be outlined in red, and 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. You may already know this, and you may be on the right track, but if you’d like more info we offer GHS resources that are more in depth and go into everything you’ll need to know. Either way, there is a whole new assortment of information you’ll need to tackle.

Finally, you need to consider when you’ll begin to acquire new SDSs. Depending on your system, suppliers, or your own team that time-frame could dramatically differ. How are you going to handle organizing, acquiring, or re-authoring your SDSs? Plus, lets not forget about training your employees on the new SDS format and label elements by Dec. 1, 2013 (we’ll have more on that in future posts).

Hopefully this means you’ll start planning now to ensure a successful transition to the new HazCom 2012 requirements, because a plan that isn’t clearly laid out, is probably going to run into a few problems. What you need to do is review the changes, evaluate your current workload, and really determine what you can and can’t accomplish in time in order to make sure you meet all deadlines.