Revisiting GHS Label Compliance One Year After OSHA’s Deadline

A new survey shows more than 21 percent of companies did not meet all GHS compliance requirements.

One year after OSHA’s June 1, 2016, “Globally Harmonized System” (GHS) label end user deadline, more than 21 percent of companies had not yet met all requirements, according to a new survey. The survey, conducted by¬†Occupational Health & Safetymagazine and Avery Products Corporation, an industrial and consumer label provider, reveals the perceived top barriers to GHS label compliance.

Fortunately, the tools and strategies exist that can help small to mid-sized companies achieve GHS label compliance rather quickly and inexpensively. With higher OSHA penalties making non-compliance more costly, taking advantage of these tools and attaining compliance is more important than ever.

“The OSHA GHS label deadline for end users has come and gone, and it is now a costly compliance issue,” said Christine Webb, CSP, a consultant at Avitus Group, a U.S.-based provider of services that allow small companies to strengthen and grow their businesses. Some of these services include safety, compliance, training, payroll, and more.

Webb, who is a former OSHA compliance officer, noted that, last year, Congress enacted a bill that allowed federal agencies to raise their fines, which had not been updated in decades.

GHS Label Compliance

“OSHA increased its fines by 78 percent, so a more severe citation that could cost up to $7,000 previously can now cost over $12,000,” she said. “Not having appropriate GHS labels on secondary containers is one of the easiest compliance issues to spot and cite.”

In an industrial setting, chemical formulations that could require GHS labeling range from industrial primers, coatings, and sealants to lubricants, greases, cutting oils, and rust removers, to acid, alkaline, and solvent-based cleaners, to degreasers, surfactants, disinfectants, and sanitizers.

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See also, OSHA Fact Sheet – Hazard Communication Standard Final Rule